Skip to main content

Full text of "Nothing like black on white"

See other formats


Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2015 



https://archive.org/details/nothinglikeblackOOfair 



NOTHING LIKE 



BLACK ON WHITE 



MISS E. 1., - - OTTAWA. 




OTTAWA : 

ria^TED BY MACLKAN, KOGKK A CO., WEI.MNOTON STUH+rr. 
1S78. 



Registered in accordance with tlie Act of Parliament, in the Office of the 
Minister of Agriculture, at Ottawa. 



This Story may be very properly called a narrative of facts; the 
authoress having done little more than narrate what she has seen 
and heard, and, with a touch of fiction, linked fact with fact, so as to 
form a continuous narrative. It is different from other stories, 
because the facts make it so, and have not before been published. 
That it may prove pleasant and profitable to all who may read it, 
is the sincere desire of the 



Approved of and recommended by the following gentlemen : — 

Rev. W. F. Farries, Pastor of Knox Church, Ottawa. 

" T. Garret, B. A., I. P. S., County Eussell. [Carleton. 

" Wm. Fleiming, M. a., Rector of South March, County 
G. Garret, Esq., P. L. S., No. 1, Rideauville, Carleton. 



AUTHORESS. 





NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE: 



— BY — 

Miss E. F., Ottawa. 

My starting character will be Jack Barten, returning from 
Hchool, witii his books and slate strapped and hung on his back ; 
nearing the house, Jack quickens his pace, and, by way of shortening 
the distance, clears the gate at a bound, then into the house with a 
whistle. He stops short, perhaps for want of breath. My ! but the 
house is quiet ! where are the folks gone to ? Is tea over, Aunt 
Hatt ?" he said, peering into a small room, where sat an elderly 
lady, dressed in grey lustre, sewing and reading by turns. 

First question, first answered," replied Aunt Hatt. " The 
house is always quiet when the folks are out. 'Taint the walls that 
make the noise ; Ned and Posie are feeding their pets. Your mother 
has gone to Uncle William's. So now, put away your books and go 
down to your tea." 

Jack soon obeyed this order by sliding down the bannisters 
instead of going down step by step. 

*' Cook ! cook ! Aunt Hatt, I can't sec the cooking apparatus, 
is she gone too ?" 

" No, Jack. Mary is putting out the clothes. Just look in the 
oven and you'll find some nice baked apples and meal cake. The 
tea-pot is on the stove, so hunt up and tend yourself. See that you 
give Jack enough to eat." 

In a little while Jack came up stairs not quite so fast as he 
went down. 

" That job's over. Aunt Hatt." 

" That's right. Jack, and now, have you any news to tell me ?" 

^' No ; not anything that you would care to hear. Oh ! Aunt, 
do you know, I saw a boy drunk down at the mills. Would you like 
to see me drunk, Aunt?" 

"No, Jack, I would'nt. What boy was it?" 

" It was young George Langford ; his father is dead. You know 
the woman that washes here sometimes ? Well, she is his aunt." 

" But tell me, Jack, how did he get drunk ?" 
Why, see here, there is a man boards with them, and he is 
foreman over the men at the works. George's uncle has something 
to do with it too. So when pay-day comes they treat the men, and, 
of course, Georgie has to bo there whether he is wanted or not. His 
father had some cash sunk in that brewery, and they get so much a 
year for it." 

But, Jack, surely they don't give him a treat like the men ?" 



6 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



" Oh no, Aunt Hatt, but Georgie's heart is in the concern, and 
when pay-day comes he thinks it so manly to go round with a can 
of whiskey helping to serve the men. Then sometimes some of the 
hands won't drink unless Georgie takes a little too. They think a 
pile of Georgie, so they do. They say he has a heart large enough 
for a king. But, oh ! Aunt Hatt, the fighting, and cursing and 
swearing that they have sometimes, man ! it is awful !" 

" But, Jack, does his mother know that he frequents such 
places?" 

" Perhaps she knows someting about it, but he is such a favorite 
with all the men at the mill that every one tries to shield him, and 
hide his faults. And the old cook won't hear of him going home 
till he is as sober as a judge." 

" Well, Jack, you ought to talk to him in a friendly manner 
about it." 

" So I did, aunt. I had along talk with him once, and he listened 
attentively; then he turned round to me and said : 'Jack, I won't 
thank you for that speech, for I heard it all before, from my cracked 
aunt.' Then he walked oflt' in high temper. So, that is all the news 
I have to tell you." 

" I am very sorry, indeed, to hear such news ; and now just 
stop. Jack, till I tell you something. Your inte^ided uncle will be 
here in a few days, to take away his Lucy. Perhaps, I may have to 
go home to mother, for she can't live alone. How will you like that, 
my "^oy ?" 

" In some ways I would like it very well, and in some ways I 
would not." 

" In what way would you like it. tell me ?" 
'Cause, replied Jack, sometimes, when pa and ma, are out we 
could get up a fine game, only you won't le ; us make a noise. You 
always watch us so. Tell you what, we don't like it a bit. 1 would 
like you far better, Aunt Hatt, if you were not so cross." 

" Well, Jack, you are very candid, a^ any rate ; but can't you 
help, or teach me to be better natured." 

" No, indeed, aunt, me to teach you ! You're too old. You 
could not be taught now. So, as ma says, we must just bear with 
you. But, still, I would not care about you going either, for 
everybody knows that lame aunts are a useful institute, for they 
are always in the house, when everybody else is out, or wanting to 
go out, and you are real handy to sew on a button, or tell me where 
to get my lunch. Oh ! here's Ned. Ned, Aunt Hatt is going away, 
to stay, perhaps." 

You're not tho', are you ? said Ned, " If you do go you'll be sure 
to come back, when we want you to stay with us, won't you ? And 
I'll be your little boy, Aunt Hatt." 

Kind reader, I had almost forgotten the time-honored custom. 
I will now introduce you to my friends. Grandma Barton, as she 
was usually called, lived in a neat little stone cottage of her own. 
She had two daughters unmarried. One well up in years. She was 
the aunt Hatt, already mentioned, and had lived with her brother 
James for years. She was almost a cripple. Lucy, the youngest. 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



1 



was about to get married and go away. Then William, the eldest 
son, was a farmer, and lived near at hand, but the poor man had 
just buried his wife, about six weeks before the opening of our 
story. He had six children, — Jim, the eldest, nearly fifteen, next to 
him was Eobert and Robina, the twins, next was Nelly, next to her 
was Willie. We must not leave out dear little Lottie, the baby, and 
pet of the house. James Barton lived about two miles distant in 
the village of Lowry, His eldest son. Jack, was about fourteen. 

Kind reader, come with me. Jack is going to grannie's to walk 
home with his mother. They are holding a consultation to-night to 
decide what is to be done. 

" Well, grandma, is mother here ? 

" Yes, Jack, but she is not ready yet to go home. Go into the 
sitting room, and talk to your uncle. He seems very low spirited 
to-night, thinking of his poor dear motherless children. Their 
cousin, Rebecca, went home the week before last, taking the baby 
with her. Lucy and I will be done with the tea things in a few 
minutes." 

So whole-souled Jack joined his uncle and chatted away with 
him as cheerful as he could. " But, said his uncle, your pa is not 
home yet. Was it safe for you to leave at night ? Will they not 
be afraid ? 

" Afraid ! no. Why, uncle, no drunken person or robber would 
come to a preachers house,or where there's an old lame aunty, they 're 
afraid to." 

" Why, Jack, do you think that she is as good as a watch dog ? 
Oh, no, uncle, I did not mean any harm ; but wait till I tell you 
what our girl Mary did one night when we were out to meeting. 
She saw some chaps prowling round as if they wanted to 
come in. So what do you think she did ? She let up pa's study 
window, and the dining room too, then she drew on a pair of pa's 
big boots, and went about whistling the tune old hundred. But if 
the rascals had known it was only Molly, they would not, I guess, 
have gone away as quietly as they did. Why, uncle, there is pa com- 
ing ; he has been to your house. Good evening. Good evening, 
William ; I just drove up to your gate, and JSTorah called out that 
you were here, so I did not go in ; are the children all well, Wil- 
liam ? 

" Yes, tl^ey are all nicely. James, I am glad that you have 
come, as wc di(r»ivDt like to do anything without you." 

Reader, we will row look into the neat sitting-room of the old 
home nest, where you will see a rather old fashioned round centre 
table, on which lay a •few good, well preserved books. On a small 
mantle shelf, over the fire-place, were arranged a few china orna- 
ments, and such like, flanked by a pair of bright brass candlesticks 
tilled ready for use ; also snuffers and trays, things almost discarded 
nowadays. 

At what we call the head of the table sat Mrs. Barton, in black 
stuff dress, her serene and pleasant face surrounded by a widow's 
cap ; on one side sat James Barton with his wife Jessie, on the other 
side sat poor William. Lucy and Jack had gone over to William's 



8 NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 

to the children, and returned just in time to light the candle. Lucy- 
then, sister-like, drew her chair close to her bereaved brother, and 
talked to him of her own future prospects. Jack was enjoying 
himself in teaching a little dog to sit erect, and beg for something to 
eat, and thus it was, my -friends, the Bartons had been talking for 
sometime of the approaching marriage and parting with Lucy, also 
the bereavement of poor William. 

Hardly eighteen months had passed since James' eldest daughter 
had departed for a better land, a more enduring portion. She was 
well provided for, her spirit with God, who gave it, her body in the 
storehouse of mortality. 

They sat quiet for some time, then James spoke. "Well, 
mother, what are you going to do ? Lucy will soon be away, and 
well provided for, but you can't live all alone. How would it do for 
Harriet to stay with you ?" 

" I do not know, poor Harriet is so lame, she would fret to see 
me working about the house and garden. She would try to do all 
she could to save me, but it would hurt her more than it would help 
me. No ; I have thought of getting a little girl to assist me, and 
that would give me time to look into William's children, and then 
Harriet might come and go between us as she liked. Jessie, what 
do you think ?" 

*'Me; I really don't know what is best to be done. She ought to 
be here herself to-night, instead ot me, but you see James had the 
hoi-se away, and she could not walk so far. You see Aunt Hatt has 
been with us so long, ever since Cecilia was born. She and I are just 
like sisters. I would'nt like her to leave us, but it you and she wish 
it, I have no right to oppose you." 

" William, my son, what do you say ?" 

" Oh, mother, if you would only come to my poor children." 
I wish you could dispose of your cottage and orchard to ad- 
vantage and come and live with me. It would be my greatest 
happiness to make you comfortable the rest of your days. You 
then could train my children as you trained us." 

" I would like," said she, to think of that a little while." 

" What do you say, James, to William's plan ?" 
I say it would save you a great deal of care and trouble, 
mother. Not to mention the comfort it would be to William and 
his little flock. Aunt Hatt has been one of our family so long, and 
she may live with us twice as long, and still be welcome." 

A knock at the door here interrupted the conversation, and 
Jack, returning from opening it said, in a low voice, "Grandma 
Miss Langford wants to see youjust a minute, if you please." 

" Oh, Mrs. Barton," she called out," I'm 'feared I'm imposing on 
ye, but can I bide here the night?" 

''Yes, Maggie, yes." 

" Oh, then, thanks, Mrs. Barton." 

" No, no, Maggie, don't say a word, but just put the thanks into 
the stocking leg you were knitting the last night you were here. 
See, there it is on the kitchen shelf, where you left it. Lucy will 
get you a warm drink bye and bye, and your rug and pillows. ' 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



9 



Maggie, thus welcomed, as usual, took off her dirty. boots and 
laid them beside the wood-box; then taking out of her satchel, which 
she always carried with her, a pair of slippers, put them on, and a 
clean checked apron, also a clean 'kerchief, which she pinned around 
her neck, then folding her shawl and putting it in her satchel, she 
hung it, with her sunbonnet, on a nail. So careful was she to keep 
her work clean and to take up little room. Tlius equipped,Maggie took 
the aforesaid stocking, sat down on the kitchen settle, and dexter- 
ousl set to work. Jack passed into the sitting room, with both eyes 
and ears open for business. After considerable talking, the old lady 
agreed to give up her cottage and garden to her sons. She was to 
receive a small sum of money yearly, while she lived. 

James said, " How would it do to buy them from you, paying 
you what we can just now, and the remainder as we are able ?" 

" That will not stand law," said Jack. 

" What do you know about it ?" qurieed his father. 

''My dear boys," said the old lady, " I don't wish you to pay 
me. I know I'll be well cared for between you." 

" Father," said Jack, " I heard my teacher say ' a bargain is not 
lawful unless written black on white.' Now, as I mean to be a law- 
yer when I'm big, I would like this job just for practic-e. There is 
paper inside the large Bible, and Aunt Lucy will get me pen and 
ink." 

Jack's proposal drew a hearty laugh from his audience, and the 
cry arose, " Who's to pay the lawyer's fee ?" 

The boy, however, nothing daunted, drew his chair forward and 
adjusted the light. 

" You understand," said he "this sale, present, or transfer, must 
be regularly written out, and each of you must have a copy of it." 

Some of them objected saying "That they could trust each other 
without paper binding them." 

"But," insisted Jack, "I mean to do business." 

So, to please him in his scheme, the papers were dated and com- 
menced. The first contained a few mistakes. 

"Father," said he, " I will write it on foolscap first, then copy 
it on better paper after it is corrected." 

In a few minutes afterwards Jack, clearing his throat, read out 
what he had written. 

" This is to certify that we, the undersigned, on this the 

day of entered into or made an agreement, by which Cosies 

Cottage becomes the property of (whom did you say grandma ?) 
William Barton ?" 

" Yes, Jack, and the orchard to James Barton. I think the one 
as much worth as the other. I know, Jack, you like apples, and, 
William, my son, what do you say about taking your mother and the 
old cottage ?" 

Poor William could not find words to express himself, his heart 
was full, thinking of the comfort his mother would be to him and his 
children. 

" Well, grandma, what pi ice do you put on them ?" 



10 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON . WHITE. 



" I think one hundred pounds tor the cottage, and the same for 
the orchard." 

"Is it to be paid right down, grandma?" 

" No, no, Jack, I will give them up now, and their own time to 
pay me the amount. Say twenty, or fifty dollars, just as they caa." 

Poor Maggie Langford had been listening in sad amazement. 
At length she ventured to stand in the door, looking towards young 
Mr. Barton. She said, " If ye please, will ye let me say a word or 
two ? Aunt Hatt, that bides wi' ye, is she wastrife (ill-behaved), or 
does she drink ?" 

"Oh! oh!" cried Jack. "Why, Maggie, none of us is that 
bad. What put that into your head?" 

" Nothing, Jack, but queer things come into my head, whiles." 

"Well, Miss Langford, the sooner you comb them out the 
better," whispered Jack. 

" Hush, boy," said his mother, reprovingly. 

" I beg pardon, and now to business. Here, grandma, is the 
paper about the house. You see, I have stated what sort of a house 
it is, and that there is no debt or claim on it. Is that right?" 

The old lady looked at the paper he had drawn out, feeling not 
a little proud of her grandson. "This," said she, " is very good 
for the first attempt," handing them to his father. 

Mr. Barton looked pleased too see what a business tact his son 
had. "Ah! Jack," said he, with a smile, "you have much to 
learn of this scribbling, before you can take it up as a trade, my 
boy." 

"If ye please," said Maggie, again interrupting them, "Mr. 
Barton, will ye wait a wee, for I feel strange the nicht ?" 

" I know what your uneasy about, Maggie, but cheer up. You 
can come to my son William's, where I'll be, and where you will 
find a stocking on the needles, and a settle in his big kitchen to rest 
on. 

" Thank you, thank you, my kind friend ; for two years you have 
allowed me a resting once a week in your kitchen." 

" Now, you sit still," whispered Jack, " and put your thanks 
in the stocking leg, like a good girl, as my grandmother told you." 

" Are you about through ?" said Uncle William, " fot I suppose 
we have to read over the agreement first, and then sign it. Eh, 
Jack ?" 

" If ye please, will ye let me say a word or twa," again pleaded 
Maggie, " before ye conclude the matter ?" 

" Just wait a minute," said Lucy. "These are family affairs, 
Maggie ; it would be better for you not to interfere till they are all 
through. ' 

" Yes, yes, Maggie," said Jack, " if you just wait till I get these 
papers signed." 

" Oh, sirs, will ye promise to let " 

" Amen to that, Maggie. I promise to let you put your name 
down, too. Just a few minutes, Maggie. Don't interrupt us while 
we look over this, and put our names to it. Then you may speak 
for half an hour, and I promise to draw up a paper for you, too, 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



11 



which will secure you one night's lodging at my Uncle William's 
every week for a twelvemonth, for which service you will knit me 
a pair of socks. Now, sit down by the kitchen fire, like a sensible 
girl, till I call you. Mother, ain't I getting into business ? My ! 
I'll be a lawyer before bedtime." 

Poor Maggie stoo 1 in the door-way, between the kitchen and 
the sitting-room, trembling with excitement and nervousness. She 
let the stocking fall to the floor, clasped her hands together, and 
looked so sad that, at a sign from Mrs. JBarton, they stopped, saying, 
" Speak, Maggie, tell us what troubles you to-night?" 

''An' what for did I come here the nicht ?" said she. "An* 
what for am I dressed in this auld threadbare drugget ? Why have 
I to lie on your floor instead o' my ain feather bed ? feathers that I 
helped to gather when I was a young lassie ! What for do I go out 
wat days an' dry days ? Why not bide in my ain comfortable room, 
by my am fireside, where I had my good books an' my nick-nacks 
in the days that are gane by? Wherefore am I no' there noo? 
Why do I wanner aboot in such a stealthy manner, afraid to be seen ; 
as if I carried a guilty conscience ? Why do I sometimes hear the 
remark, 'She's nofricht in her mind,' or ' she should be in the wark- 
hoo&e.' Bear wi' me a little longer. There is one dark spot in my 
history that my Scotch pride made me hide fra' the world ; but this 
nicht strange things pass through my heed. Maybe, I'm no lang for 
this world. My mother died before we came to this country. I was 
the auldest girl, an' so the care an' wark fell most on me. After a 
number of years my faither died, an' that without making a will, 
though he told us how he would like to divide things. ' Maggie,' 
he said, ' you will sleep in this room when I am gone; keep it, and 
all its furnishin', unless you get married. It would be a poor house 
without you, my woman, for you have been like a mother to the 
rest. And you, George an' Bessie, see that you give her due 
respect, an' live in peace wi' one another.' My brother had 
learned his trade as a joiner, under faither, and though left very 
young, yet, with the help an' guidance of a man that warked with 
faither, he got on very well. Soon after faither's death, poor Bessie 
sickened, and after lang nursing and watching on my part, and sore 
Bufferin' on her part, she died. After that my brother was all the 
more to me. We felt as if we could not do enough for one another. 
My brother hired a nit of a lass to assist me in the garden, bring in 
the cow, and feed the geese. The man Brown I spoke of before, still 
warked and lived with us, an' we were real snug. But, oh I how 
uncertain is all human friendship an' love! In a few years my 
brother's affections seemed to cool. He cared less for my comfort, 
and often, if I hinted this to him, he would turn me away with a 
short, and even a sharp answer, as if I did'nt deserve common civility. 
In my trouble I spoke to the auld man in the shop, for I feared some- 
thing had gane wrang there ; or could it be possible George was 
drinkin'.' 

"'Oh, Maggie, lass, you don't know much about the world,' said 
Brown with a smile. ' George is no worse than other lads. He is 
tired of liis plain old-fashioned sister — hard-working though she is — 



12 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



and longs for the society of one with more gayety and life. He'll be 
bringing home a new sister some of these days, and, of course, she'll 
be the mistress. Take my advice, and for G-eorgie's sake, as well 
us for your own peace, try to love and respect her.' 

"A few days after this, George was looking round the house, 
passing from one room to another. ' George,' said I, ' is there any- 
thing you want me to do, or to ask me?' 'Maggie,' said he, 
" when I want your advice or assistance, I'll ask for it, and then it 
will be time for you to speak.' I burst out crying, ' Oh, George ! 
I want — I want — to be — ' 'What are you blubbering about? 
Maggie, what do you want ? To be a grand lady, eh ?' * I want 
to lie down with dear faither and Bessie.' Now, you are getting 
tired of me. Maggie,' said he ; ' you're at liberty to leave here if 
you wishjfor I am going to get married.' Then he walked out into the 
workshop. The next night George being out as usual, the lassie was 
in the cellar for apples ; I was baking pies ; the old man was sitting 
in the kitchen, making a chisel-handle. 'Maggie, he said to me, 
" you make a thrifty housekeeper ; but you'll not hold office long 
here ; you seem to settle down like that, I don't think you'll ever 
get married. You must get George to make vsome provision for you, 
for your father made no written will.' 

"I replied, Father did not leave this property to George any 
more than to me. It can't be his any more than mi»ie, unless from 
this, that George was working in the shop a few years, and is older 
than me ; but have I not been working in the house ever since I have 
been able to dust a chair?" 

" ' Yes ; that is all very true, Maggie,' replied Brown. * But, my 
woman, I have seen more of the world than you. Take an old man's 
advice, and have it written down, ' black on white,' what your 
claims are, and when you are to receive it. You can, at least, claim 
a servant's wages.' " 

Black on white,' didn't I tell you?" said Jack. "Hush, 
Jack," said his father. "Maggie take that chair." 

"I'm, sure," said Maggie, " I should beg your pardon for mak- 
ing so free, and for taking up your time so long; and, what takes 
me longer, I try to keep down my Scotch tongue, and speak so as 
ye'U understand, but I must hasten me." 

" No apology, Maggie, no apology," cried several voices. " We 
are very much interested. Go on." 

" Well, soon after this, George brought home his wife. I did 
my best to have everything in good order, and meet them with a 
hearty welcome. My new sister looked pretty, and acted pretty, 
but my coarse hands ill-contrasted with her lilly-white fingers. I 
retired to my room that night holding communion with my God 
and myself, praying for a blessing on my new relative. The next 
day, and the next again, I went about ray work as usual, neglecting 
to consult the new mistress, although tj-eating her with every mark 
of respect and kindness. 

"Mybrothei- meeting me alor.e in^the kitchen one day, laid his 
hand gently on my shoulder. His manner softened towards me. 
' Maggie, '^said he, ' you and I must not think less of each other, 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



13 



because there is one more to love ; and I wish you would bear in 
mind that Mie is, for the future, mistress of this house, ami, there- 
fore, 3'ou ought to consult her, and yield ti her wishes.' 

" ' George,' I answered, ' I admit that she has the richt to be 
mistress, but she seems to know so little about work, though, I don't 
like to notice it before her; and, dear me, the work must be done. 
You can't attbrd to keep a big girl, and you wouldn't like to have 
her white hands grow as coarse and brown as mine, would you, 
George? However, I am glad you mentioned it, and will mind 
better for the time to come. And, dear George (for his unwonted 
kindness gave me courage to speak) in case of our not agreing, will 
you make some provision for me, what you consider my richts, so 
that afterwards I may neither be a burthen, nor a dependent?' 
' Yes, Maggie. 1 will bye-and-bye.' But that bye-and-bye never 
came. Years came, and years went. Nieces and nephews came, 
and m}^ heart was drawn out to love them for their ain and their 
faither's sake. All went kind and evenly till about four years ago, 
when I fell sick of a fever ; and, knowing that the bairns would be 
exposed to it, I went to the hospital. When I recovered, I returned 
home to find my brother at the point of death. ' Well, Maggie, he 
said to me, 'you are spared, while I am to be taken away. Oh, 
comfort my poor wife and children ; stay with thejn.' Then recol- 
lecting himself, ' Oh, I have forgotten you ; I have just made my 
will, and all in favour of my wife and children. Can jou. forgive 
me?' 'Yes, yes, I do, my dear brother.' ' Susey,' he cried, 
" Susey, for my sake, be good to our Maggie.' ' George,' said his 
wife, ' don't worry about her; she has only herself to provide for. 
She never wanted yet, and why should she now ? Keep yourself 
easy about her.' My brother died. ' Oh,' Master Jack, ' a death bed 's 
no' the best place to make a will, an' it's no' the best time to prepare 
for yer Maker, mind ye that my bonnie laddie." 

•'I must hasten. Shortly after my brother's death, Susey said 
she would be obliged to have the room I occupied fitted up, as she 
expected to have some friends on a visit for a few days, and that I 
could have my things carried up to a garret room, where there was 
a straw mattrass that I could lie on for a wee while ; when I could 
get back again. Well ; there was no way left for me but to submit 
wi' as good a grace as I could ; besides, I thought it would only be 
for a short time, but the visitors are there yet, and likely to remain. 
They have rented the room, and are paying their board; and how is 
it with me now ? I live, work and eat there yet, and sleep in the 
garret. But it is plain to be seen the young folk look on me as a 
burden on their widowed mother, and some of them are no blate to 
tell me so." 

" But, Maggie, why do you go out so in bad weather, and at 
night ?" said Jessie. 

" Oh !" replied the poor woman ; " must I tell you that too ? 
My good sister does not allow a penny for cloi hes. For two years T 
have slept in that garret room, with scanty fui'nishin' an' little heat. 
I had to take some of my own clothes to make beddirig. My Scotch 
pride prompts me to leave the house in this hidden, stealthy manner, 



14 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



stayiDg here, on my way up to the little town of Lowry, where I 
get plenty of work — spinnin', washin' an' ironin' — for whtch I get 
my meat and fifteen pence i' the day, for at least two days i' the 
the week. But, if this comes to the ears o' the young folk, my 
nephews, they would take me to task. Oh ! keep my secret, I 
beg of you. How do you know but Harriet, your own daughter, 
may be served the same way, or as bad, when you and her brothers 
are laid in the grave ? Not that I have any cause to think ill o' 
Mrs. James and Maggie looked towards young Mrs. Barton with a 
sort of deprecating glance. I feel as if I should really speak, and 
warn ye all from my ain experience, hoping ye will, each one, pardon 
my boldness." 

While Maggie had been concluding her speech, the brothers, 
each in turn, held a folded piece of paper in the flame of the candle 
until nearly consumed, and then threw it in the grate. 

Poor Jack looked rather mystified to see his first attempt at 
law so soon reduced to ashes. 

" Now, Maggie Langford, see what you have made us do ! 
What else would you have us do?" asked old Mrs. Barton. 

" Keep a grip of this property while you live. At your death 
resign it to your unmarried daughter; to be hers while she lives. 
Then let it go to your grand-children. That's my poor advice ; an' 
it need na' hinder you sharing wi' the others in the meantime, but 
keep your claim on it. I am sure you have allowed me great 
freedom to say a' this." 

Then poor Maggie rose up to go into the kitchen. She stooped 
to pick up the stocking she had dropped ; but, lo ! a piece of the 
blazing paper had fallen on it, and burned a hole in it. 

Never mind," said Mrs. Barten ; " no use knitting more on 
this. It will have to be ripped back. I'll lay it away for to-night ; 
and you had better get to sleep ; it's pretty late." 

Maggie retreated to the kitchen, closing the door of the sitting- 
room ; where we leave our friends to discuss their affairs, and see 
what conclusions they will come to after poor Maggie's voluntary 
advice and timely warning. 

We will now look into UncleWilliam's comfortable house, with- 
in sight of the old homestead. G-ranny Barton has a fine large 
room, which is considered by all in the house as sacred to herself. 
She preserved enough of her own furniture to furnish it. The 
remainder, some she sold, and some she sent to Uncle James, and 
poor Maggie Langford's bare room was not forgotten. Lucy has had 
her share, and gone away with one who is well able to add more, 
and before going away they left a small sum in the hands of James 
Barton, to be expended for Maggie's benefit, and in this, perhaps, 
they were actuated less by pity for Maggie than to show that they 
harbored no ill feeling for the turn things had taken with regard to 
the property. Some weeks have passed since Maggie's sad tale, and 
again the two brothers and Granny Barton have confidential talk. 

" Mother, do you know, I have got a tenant for your cottage 
and garden ?" 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



15 



" Well, William, I am glad to hear it. I hope they will be good 
neighbors." 

Well, mother, they ought. When I was on my way to the 
works this morning, who should I meet but Eebecca. She heard 
your cottage was to be let, and was coming to enquire. She says 
Lunt is going to pull down the old house, and build a new one 
upon the same site. So they will have to take a house for a year. 
Their family is small, and your place could not be in more careful 
hands, and I don't think you'll be hard on them." 

" No, William, they may have it for fifty dollars, and then we 
will have little Lottie near us. Surely God has heard our prayers 
and sent His blessing already. Don't you think so, James ? " 

" Yes, mother, God is good to all, and His tender mercies are 
over all. Oh ! by the way^ mother, I have got an appointment to 
preach once a fortnight in the Bay Settlement, where the Langford's 
live, and as I like to visit among the people once in a while, I called 
on Mrs. Langford the other day. She appears to be a nice sort of a 
body. The young people seem to be very gay, and fond of dress ; 
too much so, I am afraid. I asked her if she had not an unmarried 
sister, or sister-in-law, living with her, she said ' yes, she had a sister- 
in-law there who was there before she came at all.' I told her I had 
been making enquiries several times for a Bible woman, that 
is a woman to take Bibles around to sell, and said she would 
be paid according to what books she sold, or what ground 
she went over. I said I had seen her sister-in-law a few days 
before, and the thought occurred to me that she might be 
a suitable hand ; but of course, I must know what sort of a 
character she is. Is she honest, and of temperate habits? 'Well,' 
replied she, ' I can hardly say. She is honest I know, but is o( such 
a turn, and so independent, that I fear her Scotch pride would not 
let her stoop so low. Indeed, I think people can buy all they want 
in the stores, without taking them into their houses.' ' Yes,' said I, 
' but when they go to a store, they may, perhaps, see other good 
books with more gilt, and stories, and it may be cheaper too, and so 
the Bible is left on the counter. No, my friend, the Bible must be 
brought down in price, and brought into the house too, by persons, 
if possible, who have a knowledge of its value ; and as to its being a 
low, or mean business, my good woman, it is anything but that. 
Kings and Queens might be honored by such work.' 'Well,' said 
she, ' I would advise you to look some other place, Maggie is subject 
to fits of anger, and ten to one but she would throw the Bibies at 
the people if they refused to buy them.' ' Well,' I answered, ' I am 
very sorry to hear that, — was she always so ? ' ' No,' said Mrs. L., 
'she was not so bad till about the time she had the fever, and her 
bi other's death. ' ' I am sorry,' said I ; ' very sorry to hear this of her. 
However, it may be all the effects of grief. Can you tell me how she 
a(;ts ? When those turns come upon her, does she laugh, or cry, or 
sing? I hope she does not drink.' 'Sir, I can't 
say she drinks, neither does she laugh, cry, or sing. But she 
(loos wo"se, she rages, and acts furiously, and seems 
to think that every body and every thing is against her, and seems 



16 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



so thin-skinned about every thing we say of her. Then, when she 
gets tired out she rushes into her own room, where she remains for 
along time; when she comes down her eyes are bloodshot and 
swollen, but her voice and manner quite calm.' 'Well, 
Mrs. Langford, its my impression her unhappy spirit is 
all the effect of circumstances. Has she anything of her own, or is 
she entirely depending on you ? Or, it may be' she is suffering from 
some disease. However,' said I, • I must be going. But here is my 
address, and if Miss Langford will call at my place, I will be better 
able to judge, after conversing with her, whether she will be a suit- 
able person for this business or not." 

" I am truly glad you thought of her, James. I have not seen 
her since that night she told her sorrowful story." 

" Nor I either, mother. I dare say same of your woman folks 
will see about her dress, both for warmth and decency. Have you 
got everything out of the cottage, mother ?" 

" 'No, James, there are some things there yet, and, as Becca is 
going to live there, I'll just leave them. They are not needed here. 
Norah, William's girl, is fixing up my room very nice, so I'll feel 
quite at home." 

" Is Norah going to stay on mother ?" 

" Yes, I think so. The children and she agree well. She is 
very honest and accustomed to the house, and she seems so attentive 
to Jim and Robert. Some girls are forever finding fault with boys, 
which, of course, helps to keep out of home, but not so with Norah. 
She never seems tired of waiting on them and on the little girls 
too." 

Oh ! pa," said Nellie, " I saw a man with a monkey to-day." 
" Did you, Nellie, and were you afraid?" 

No, pa 1 Oh ! I want to ask uncle something !" 
"Ail right, you are in for it, James. The children think you 
know everything." 

Robina wants to know as well as I, uncle, if there will be 
animals in the next world." 

"That is verv unlikely Robina, we have no proof in Scripture 
for that." 

" Uncle ! has monkeys got souls ?" 

" No, Nellie ; no more than other beasts. God breathed into 
man the breath of life (not into beasts), and man became a living 
soul." 

"Well, they look very wise." 

" Yes, girls, I must say they are very imitative. Only a short 
time ago I heard a missionary say he had preached to a congregation 
of monkeys." 

" Oh ! uncle, did he think they were people ?" 

" No. I'll tell you how it was. In India, where the monkeys 
are very numerous, the houses are small and built so as to form a 
court ; each house has a balcony, and very useful trees are allowed 
to grow, filling up the space between the buildings. It was in one 
of these courts that a missionary stood and preached to the natives, 
who, at a given signal, gathered together, took their places, sitting 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



17 



or standing under the balcony. Soon a noise overhead caused the 
preacher to look up. He was amused to see the monkeys leaping 
from tree to tree, then on the roofs of the houses quietly taking their 
places on the balcony, overhanging the court, just like so man}' 
pigeons on the eave-trough of a house. There were far more monkeys 
than natives. Some brought their babies with them. Just fancy 
a mother monkey carrying her little ones to meeting, holding it 
tight under her arm. Sometimes the little creatures would want to 
play. But the oki dame would check their mirth by a good shak- 
ing, or a slap. The gentleman said it was really laughable. The 
monkeys looked so demure and attentive, as though the sermon was 
for them. One poor fellow got tired and was makingtracks, but was 
observed by others of the monkey tribe, who pursued after him, 
forced him back, and held him quite awhile on the balcony." 
"Did they come regular, uncle? 

" No, Nellie, it was only as the notion took them. They are 
as troublesome as a lot of wild cats, always in some mischief" 

" Then why don't they shoot some of them, uncle ?\ 
The natives would not kill them, Eobina, for they believe the 
souls of their departed friends go into monkeys, and for all the 
natives knowlhey might shoot their own great grandfather." 

But in time the gospel will dispel this darkness, and the heathen 
will be converted to God. James," said William, " there is one man, 
not many miles from here, that I would like to see converted." 

You arc very moderate in your desires, William, I must say. 
I would not be so easily satisfied. I would like to see every man, 
woman and child converted. What man do you mean ?" 

"I mean Jim's boss, the saddler. He is a Roman Catholic, but 
a more upright man I never met. He is so very liberal in his views 
and sentiments. There is spiritual-mindedness about him that is 
not often met with. 

" Then, William, according to your statement he is a Christian 
already. What more do you want ?" 

" I want to see him into a Protestant Church. He is too good 
for the one he is in. Indeed, I wonder that a man of his knowledge 
should remain there." 

•'Tut, William, better if there were more like him in it ; leave 
him where he is. What would you expect of any church if all the 
good ones arc taken out of it? No, my brother, for he may have an 
influence over others that we have not. Leave him where Provi- 
dence has placed him." 

Oh ! here comes wee Willie ; come my poar boy." 

" Uncle James, 1 used to wish I was your sou, but I don't 
now." 

" Why don't you now ; or, rather, why did you before ?" 
" 'Cause your boys had a mother and I hadn't, but I have • 
now." 

" Why, Willie, I am not going to be your mother, just your 
grandma, the same as ever," said Mrs. Barton. 

" Well, I know some boys get step-mothers, and you would 
make a splendid one. Don't you think so, uncle ? Pa, will you let 



18 



NOTHINa LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



Sissy and I go with uncle for a ride this afternoon ? We haven't 
been up there for a long, long time, pa." 

" No,niy son, I think not; but,if your grandma sees fit,youmay 
perhaps go on Saturday and remain till Sabbath." 

" Oh ! thank you pa,that will be so nice, and perhaps we will go 
to church with them, and hear Uncle James preach, and we will be 
in black clothes like them. Won't that be nice ?" 

" Ah, Willie, Willie !" said uncle James. 

" A short prayer before you go, said William. 

*'Perhaps,"added grandma," it would be as well to call them all 
in and have worship at once, although its early — for my part I 
would like to go to bed early to-night. This has been a busy day 
with me." 

" Very, well, mother, I know you are tired. Willie, ring 
the bell for the rest. 

This was a little silver bell that had its place 
with the large family bible, and was never used tor any other pur- 
pose. Indeed, the children looked upon it as something belonging 
to the bible and psalm singing. However, the children came in and 
sat down." 

" Did Norah not hear the bell, Willie ; said grandma that she 
has not come in too ?" 

" Norah didn't want to, granny. She says servants can do with- 
out prayers." 

"She used tocome in with the others," said William, "until 
lately. I don't wish to compel her ; it is a privilege free to all." 

After prayers, James went home, and soon grandma rose to go 
to bed. There was only one bed-room on the first flat, and that was 
what used to be the spare room. It was there their mother lay 
sick. It was there she died. And, after that, William slept there 
with his youngest darling in his bosom. There were four rooms on 
the upper flat. Norah's room was at the stair landing ; next to it, 
on the same side, was the boys'; opposite it was what used to be 
their mother's room. It was now to be grandma's ; and one next to 
it was the little girl's room. Grandma is loitering at the foot of the 
stairs, looking wistfully at the children : " Which of you is going to 
to take me to my room ?" 

"I will ; I will;" and soon four pairs of little hands and willing 
feet are at grandma's service. 

" Wait, children, till I speak to Norah." 

"Norah, lass; you have to put another handful of meal in the 
pot to-morrow morning." 
"Yes, ma'am." 

" Good night, mother ;" said William. " And, children, don't be 
noisy. Willie, you come down again." 
" Yes, papa." 

At the head of the stairs stood Jim, a soft, good-natured lad, 
holding out his hand to grandma, as she kissed him. 

" Oh ; that was on the wrong side, granny; that was just a 
common kiss," said Nellie. 

" Well, well," said she ; " you'll have to teach me." 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



19 



" It was mama who taught us, grandma, She said the kiss 
had three words in it, and if we were angry or pouty with one 
another, she would not let us us^ that kiss ; but it should always be 
on the right cheek." 

" And what were the words, Eobina ?" 

" They were, ' Peace between us.' Do you know, grandma, 
we gave ma that kiss every night while she lay sick; and after she 
died we did not like to go to bed without it. So pa said we might 
still kiss her every night before worship ; but it was only for two 
nights." 

Poor ma ; I wonder if she saw us ?" said Nellie. 
Well, now, children, I want you all to remember your dear 
mother; and give me that kiss in memory of her. Come, Jim ; I'll 
begin with the eldest." 

Jim, with a firm step, walked up to where she sat in the cosey 
chair, and kissed her. Then each, in turn. Afterwards they ran 
down to get papa's good night. 

" See, granny, our room opens right into yours," said Eobina. 

"Yes," said Nellie, " and we are going to sleep in our own 
room to-night." 

Don't you always do so ?" 

"No," said little Nellie, in a low voice; "we all slept in the 
boy's room after cousin 'Becca left. Norah said we would be com- 
pany for one another, and it would be one room less to do up." 

" Oh ! Nellie, Nellie," said Eobina; " you have told a lie. You 
promised — you know Norah made us all — that we wouldn't tell." 

" But," said Nellie ; " she meant not to tell pa or any strangerSi 
You won't laugh at us, grandma ?" 

" No, my children ; I will not laugh at you ; but you must 
sleep in your own rocm for the future." 

Next morning, after breakfast, some were gone to school, Jim 
was gone to his place, and Mr. Barton was about to follow, when his 
mother asked him to remain a few moments. 

" William," she began, "what do you know about Norah ? Is 
she a pure-minded girl?" 

" Eeally, mother, I never like to call any girl's virtue into 
question . I have not the least doubt but she is as good as the rest 
of girls ; when there is no temptation. She has no company coming 
to see her, and I think she is thoroughly honest." 

"But, my son; are you aware that she has been having the 
girl's bed in the same room with the boys, under pretence of keeping 
them from being lonesome, and to save herself the doing up of one 
more loom ?" 

"No, mother, I didn't know that. The day Eebeccaleft, I told 
her she had better sleep in the girl's room, or else have them sleep 
in hers. She said she would do so ; although both Nellie and Eobina 
said they were not afraid to sleep alone." 

" Where did she come from, William ? " 

" Near K — , I think, about twenty miles from here; but mother 
dear, if you find fault with her, she'll very likely go off in anger, 



^0 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



and blame you for her dismissal, and what are you going to do 
without help ?" 

" That, of course, will be inconvenient, but still bearable, ' out 
of evils choose the least.' A little fable, bearing on this, has just 
come into my head. An Angel and a Sage, were walking together 
when they came to a carcase, and as they were hailed by the smell 
of the putrid mass, the Sage put his hand on his nose, turned his 
head to one side and walked hastily awav. The Angel only smiled. 
A little further on the road, they passed a harlot sitting in gaudy 
attire. The Sage looked at her and smiled, but the Angel turned 
his face away, and fled from the place.' However, I must only 
watch her words and actions a while. By-the-bye, James and Jessie 
are going that way next week, I believe they could find out more 
of her character from the people there whom she lived with, before 
she came here." 

" Yes, it would be just as well," replied William. 

Tn a few days after the above conversation, Norah came to 
Mrs. Barton saying : Please ma'am, I wanted to ask a favor from 
you." 

" And what may that bo ?" said Mrs. Barton. 
I want a week's holida3^s, if you could spare me next week. 
I'll do all the work I can before I go, and be sure to come back at 
the end of the week." 

" Yery well, I'll let you know to-morrow, if I can." 

After consulting with her son, the old lady gave her leave, and 
up to her word, the girl got as much of the work in advance as 
possible, then she left. 

It commenced raining the morning ]Nora left, so she asked for 
an umbrella, saying she would see a chance to send it back from the 
station with somebody. During the day a man drove up to the door 
with a cart. He brought back the umbrella which Nora had 
borrowed, and said she had asked him to bring her trunk down in 
his cart, as she might get a chance to repair some of her clothes 
while away at her friends. " She told me," continued the man 
" that I would find it at the head of the stairs all ready." Mrs. 
Barton allowed him to take it away, thinking, at the same time, that 
it was strange the girl had not mentioned this idea before she left; 
but she was too honest and honorable herself to suspect the girl's 
design. 



CHAPTER II. 

We will noAV return toWillowvale, where our story commenced 
James Barton, finding that pi-eaching did not bring him in enough 
in a scattered settlement to support his family, — in order to add to 
this, he devoted his spare hours to book-keeping for some of the 
business men of the village. To-day he has brought up a ponderous 
ledger, and has been busy over it for the last hour. Jack is sitting 
at the window with his school bag beside him, working some very 



jS'OTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



21 



knotty questions. The boy looks out of the window, then at his 
father and the great ledger. You may see now, by his face and 
manner, that he is determined to try something that will bring in 
money faster than either preaching or book-keeping. Suddenly he 
exclaimed : " Oh ! father, there's that queer woman, Maggie 
Langford, at the gate ; what is she coming here for ? " 

" She wants to see me, Jack. Call me up when she comes, and 
you take this ledger down to the office." 

" Please, sir, did you want to see me ? " 

" Yes, Maggie, you're not very busy, are joii ? Sit down ; sit 
down till I have a talk with you. We want a woman to sell bibles, 
and I thought to employ you ; but I am told, Maggie, that you have 
a very violent temper. Is that so ? " 

" And who knows or feels it better than I do myself ? " 

" But, my woman, you should try to rule your temper. It is a 
terrible sin to indulge evil passions, you know.'" 

" Oh ! sir, the spirit is willin', but the flesh is weak." 

" Maggie, do you ever pray to God for strength to resist ? " 
Yes, sir, every time I loose my temper I fly to the cross." 

" What I JSTot while you are angry, surely ? " 

" Oh ! yes, sir, its then I need it. You see, sir, young folk 
will, whiles out o' fun, an' whiles out o' spite, say hard things to 
me when I come in tired an' cauld. I just leave the kitchen, as 
soon as I can, an' go up to my ain room, an' then, 0 ! sir, I want to 
tell you that I ieel like one possessed, an' what can I do, but 
cast myself down on my bed, or on the floor, an' beg the Lord 
Jesus to take the devil out of me, an' O, sir. He does hear my prayer, 
an' sometimes afore leaving the room. He gives me a taste of his 
sweet peace." 

But do you never tell them this, when you meet them again ? " 

"Ah ! what for would I cast pearls about to be trampled on ? 
They think me a miserable, wicked woman; an' the're no far wrang 
either ; but O, sir, I wadna change wi' them." 

" But, Maggie, you say God hears your prayer, I wonder you 
don't pray for a change in your circumstances, so that you would 
not be a burden on your sister-in-law, nor exposed to the taunts of 
your nephews and neices, for surely you ought to take more pleasure 
than anything else in being a hel23." 

"Aye ! aye ! I would ; I would ; but, 0, air, I have told all this 
to Jesus many a time, an' I believe if it was for my good, I would 
have been differently placed ; but, sir, you see, I have so many 
blessings, maybe it wadn'a do for my soul's good to have more." 

Mr. Barton surveyed her for a moment, then lowering his voice, 
said, in a pitying tone : — 

"Maggie, one wouldn't think you possessed many blessings. I 
dare say you count them one by one, and can tell which is least and 
which is greatest. 

"No, sir," replied Maggie, in a firm tone, " they are more than 
I can number ; nor have I any small blessings, mine are all great, 
some exceedingly great. O ! sir, I'm richly weel off, though I 
dinna' look much like it." 
9 



22 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



Mr. Barton was silent for a moment, and this was his thoughi 
How much further will Scotch pride and independence go ? " Well 
Maggie," said he, " it is good to feel all this, so long as it keeps us 
humble." 

" O ! Mr. Barton," said she, as she wiped an unbidden tear 
with the corner of her shawl, "when I think of the sufferin' an' 
trials o' some, an' the troubles o' others, I feel so confounded like, 
that I could hide my face in the dust for very shame at my mur- 
murin'. You see there are some troubles that I stand in no danger 
o' meetin', although it ma;^ be selfish o' me to speak this way. I 
mean some lasses marry, an' their husbands turn to drinkin' an' that 
aye brings a host o' ills wi' it. Some get jealous o' one anither an' 
their hearts get parted, an' they have a little o' the ill place while 
they're here. Thee, again, children whiles grow up to be a 
curse rather than a blessin' to their parents, by willfu' headstrong 
disobedience, an' even the best guided death will sunder them. 
That is a trial I'll be spared. Some lose their property, an' that's 
a thing I need'na fear. I ha' health, judgment, sicht an' hearin' — 
that's what some has na' — O! sir, only for them dark hours that 
come on me I might be the very happiest woman in the world." 

" Maggie, I would advise you not to think of these dark hours. 
' Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof.' Take care of your health, 
if possible, eat well and sleep well, and do not work too hard. You 
know we are creatures of the earth, and so constituted that the mind 
affects the body, though some do not believe it." 

" Oh ! sir, I feel sometimes as if I were a slave to the devil, an' 
it does seem like presumption to call upon God in prayer, for no 
matter how much I try, my temper will get the better o' me. I fear 
it will be my ruin." 

" Then, Maggie, do not try so much to resist." 

" What," said she, " what do you mean ? Not to try to subdue 
my failin', my own spirit. Surely you are not in earnest. Why ! I 
would get worse, no one could live wi' me." 

" Listen to me, Maggie," said the minister. " In some cases we 
are called on to resist the devil, and he will flee from us. In others 
we are to chase the enemy. In some cases we are only required to 
stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. In others the victory 
can only be won by prayer and fasting, but in your case none of 
of these will do." 

What do you mean, minister ? Am I a castaway ?" 

"By no means," he replied. "Just undermine the ground 
your temptation rises on." 

" Kind sir, you are the first that ever took such interest in my 
spiritual welfare, an' I have told you more of myself than ever I did 
to anybody. Now, if you would jast make my way clear afore me, 
for, indeed, I whiles think I'm bordcrin' on insanity." 

" Then listen to me, Maggie. Think not so much about your- 
self, good or bad, but set your brains to work to make others happy. 
Think of the perfect bliss of Heaven. The peace, the joy, the security 
from temptation there. Think of the perfections of the Deity. Let 
not your frequent failings come between you and Christ, and. 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 23 

Maggie, you owe a duty, remember, to your mortal part, as well as 
to your soul. You were telliog me you suffer from rheumatism and 
indige:>tion. Now, do you know this is telling upon your nervous 
system, and is helping to make you both irritable and low spirited. 
But, as I have some medical knowledge, I will give you something 
to take home with you, which, I think, will do you good. Depend 
upon it, your gloomy forebodings will vanish, when your prospects 
brighten, and your health gets better. But, Maggie, you have not 
said whether you are able and willing to enter this mission as Bible 
woman. Every Christian owes a duty to the rest of the world, and 
surely you might find, among all Grod's gifts to you ; you might find 
one talent that you could trade with in His kingdon upon earth." 

" I will try it willingly, Sir," said Maggie, if you think me fit 
for the post." 

"1 know what you mean," said Mr. Barton, ''and think you 
will be justified in commencing. And now my sister Harriet has a 
pair of strong boots that she will never wear, and which she said 
you might have. My wife and she went out to see a sick person ; 
just wait till I see if they have returned." 

As Mr. Barton left the study, the hall clock began to strike, and 
he paused a minute to count the hour. Maggie, who had contracted 
a habit of talking to herself from being so much alone, whispered 
just loud enough to be heard, " Surely the good Lord will bless them 
for all this kindness ; but the praise is all Thine, Thine, Thine," and 
slipping down on her knees,Baid, " Let Thy presence come with me." 
She rose suddenly to her chair, as she heard the minister re-entering 
the room, followed by little Neddie with the boots. 

" Here pa, pa~pair boots." 

" Grive them to her," said his pa. 

Then another pair of little feet entered, and a fair-haired little 
girl held up another parcel. " This is for you, Maggie. Did my pa 
convert you yet ? Mind, you must go to church now, but not in that 
old, ugly dress." 

" Hush, hush. Sissy, don't talk so much," said Mr. Barton. 

Then going to the book-case he unlocked a small medicine 
chest, and taking something out of it, gave it to Maggie,saying," Use 
this according to directions ; and if you have time, go to my 
mother's, to-morrow sometime, and she will see about your clothes." 

" To-morrow is our own washing day," said she ' but the day 
after I'll be at Mrs. Lunt's, and I'll go over in the evening. When 
would you like me to commence with the bibles ?" 

" Oh !" he said, " in about a week from this will do. It will 
not take all your time ; one day or two in the week will do, I think; 
and 1 will give you a book to keep your accounts in. The prices 
will bo marked in each bible, and here is a dollar to get a good, 
covered basket to carry them in. 

Maggie rose to go, her heart too full to speak her thanks. 

"Grood-bye," said Mr. Barton, "1 will trust to your Scotch face 
that you'll do what is right and honest." 

So Maggie Langford went home, sat up a good part of the night 
trying to fix over her clothes. Next day she washed and scrubbed 



24 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



all day, as her sister-in-law's girl was not able for all the work, and 
Maggie was used to it. But that night she did not feel well. Next 
day she ventured out to Mrs. Lunt's to wash. In the afternoon slie 
felt very sick, and obliged to give up and go home. Two or three 
days passed and she came not. The Bartons were getting uneasy 
concerning her. At last Mrs. Lunt volunteered to go and see how 
she was. She was admitted by a little girl. 

" I called," she said, " to ask if your Aunt is getting better yet. 
She left me a few days ago, right in the middle of my washing, so 
she did. Is she in just now ? Just find out, little girl, if she can 
come and finish my washing ? Or can I see yonv mother ? " 

" Ma," said the little one, running towards the dining-room, 
" here's a woman wants Aunt Maggie." 

" A^ell, do take her up to her room, and don't stand gossiping 
there." 

So the child led her ujD-stairs. 

" Dear me !" exclaimed Mrs. Lunt, " if the creature has to 
climb these stairs every night, before reaching the bed, I don't 
wonder she is sick." 

"Please," whispered the child, "don't say any more about 
aunt washing out, for if Georgie or Maud hears it, they will be 
awful angry." 

" Yery well, I won't hurt their feelings, poor little dears." 

" Oh," said the child, " they're not little ; they're big." 

" Yes," said Mrs. Lunt, " but the minds are little, I see." 

As 1 licy got to the stair's head, the little girl said that her aunt 
had been vet y sick, but was getting better. Then opening the door 
about an incli, called through to her, saying: 

" Here's a woman wants you to go and finish the washing." 

" Tut, no !" said Mrs. Lunt; "go in, deary, and say a friend 
came to see her." 

Thus reassured, the child went in, followed by Mrs. Lunt. 

" Poor creature," said she, are you suffering much ? " 

"No," replied Maggie, "not now; I was very ill for the last 
two days, but to-day I feel better, and hope to be about again to- 
morrow." 

"The Bartons were uneasy about you; so I ^volunteered to come 
and see how you wore." 

"Oh, they are kind, kind; and so are you. How will I ever 
repay you all ?" 

" Have you not heard of one who can repay all for you ?" 

" No," said Maggie ; " who is it ?" 

" It is Jesus." 

" Oh, yes," said Maggie, " and he will openly confess them. 
' Inasmuch as ye did it unto the least of these, ye did unto me.' " 

" Oh ! ma'm, I wish I could do something for Christ. I fear 
I'm only a cumberer o' the ground." 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



25 



CHAPTEE III. 

"Well, well," replied Mrs. Lunt, "that reminds me of a little 
incident that happened during my stay in Quebec. I kept a board- 
ing house, and wanted a girl badly. At last one came, bringing a 
recommend as a great worker. I said to mj^self 'I am all right now.' 
After breakfast, 1 told her to wash up the dishes ; and, when the 
kitchen was done, I would show her the bed chambers to be done 
up. About one hour after, on going to the kitchen, I found her 
sitting on the door-step, with her hands folded.' * Louisa,* said I, 
are you through?' 'Yes,' she answered; 'I washed every dish.' 
' Very well,' I said, ' come up to to the beds now. Make them up 
nicely, and sweep up.' In a little while I found her again standing 
with her hands folded. 'Louisa,' I said, 'why are you standing 
idle?' 'Because,' said she, 'I've nothing; to do; I wish I had.' 
She then followed me into the kitchen, where I found the dishcloth 
and towels lying on the table unwashed, and the stove and kitchen 
in a perfect litter. ' Louisa, you have not finished here; you hav'nt 
tidied up at all.' '^^"0, ma'm,' said she, 'I don't do little things; I 
do all my work in lumps like, if you please, ma'm.' ' Well,' I 
exclaimed, ' I am afraid my house will never suit you, for all the 
work is in items.' So the girl of heavy work left me 
to look for a place where the work would be in lumps. 
Now, it often occurs to me, that God's people are like Louisa, 
too often they want to work for Grod, but it must be something big. 
They don't know anything about the little items and duties of daily 
life. Now, my friend, I do not say that this is your case, but see 
to it yourself that it is not so. Little daily worries at home, may 
all turn out for your good, if you can only look upon them in that 
way, remembering that you too have faults." 

Mrs.Lunt, after a little more talk on secular matters, rose to leave 
although still seeming to have something on her mind. She left Mag- 
gie in much bettc]- spirits than she found her. Arriving at home, she 
tlirew off her broad-rimmed straw hat, and sat down on the first 
chair she came to. There she sat as still as if in a Quaker's meet- 
ing; so much occupied were her thoughts, that she never heard a 
footstep at the door ; but with a heavy sigh, and giving expression 
to her thoughts, " I am so sorry." 

" A penny for your though ts,Becca," said the cheery voice of Mrs. 
Barton, " but first tell me how did you find poor Maggie ? v/as it her 
sickness that made you give that sorrowful sigh ?" 

"No, not altogether that; she has been quite ill for a few days 
past, but to-day she says she is much better. She was partly dressed 
too, sitting on her bed when I went in." 

"Then tell me, Becca, is her room comfortable?" 

" Weil, the room is not so bad, but it's hard to get to it, her sfair 
is so steep. It is an attic room, large and well enough lighted, but 
it must 1)0 veiy cold in the winter. It is evidently used as a lumber 



26 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



room, although her part is very clean. The farther end was littered 
with old stove-pipes, broken boxes, and such things." 

"Then, wherefore that desponding sigh, Becca?' 

" Because, I must say 1 felt the smell of liquor; I cannot say 
whether it was gin, bj-andy or beer, and she neither looked nor acted 
as if she had been using anything of the kind. Still, who know? 
but that may be the reason she stops up there, and also the reason 
of her sudden outbursts of curious temper ; because when I had bid- 
den her good bye, and turned to her door, I fairly started, for there 
behind the door was an old cupboard with a door broken off ; the 
bottom shelf full of bottles, some beei*. some gin, and some whiskey, 
^^'ow, what are we to do ? What is the use of trying to help one that 
will just throw all away in drink?" 

"Well," said the old lady, " I am very sorry indeed. I remem- 
ber, now, of James telling me that Mrs. Langford implied as much 
as just left room to doubt. It may be, who knows that drink is the 
cause of her unhappy state of mind. Solitude and liquor have 
driven many a wise head crazy." 

" Yes," replied Mrs. Lunt, " and I remember her telling me, 
the day she was washing here, that the minister had given her a 
dollar to buy a basket to carry the books in. Will it not be too 
bad if she has used that money. Dear, oh, dear! But the human 
heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. Oh ! did I ever tell you 
the trouble I had in Quebec with my French cook." 

" No, 'Becca, you began to tell me once, that your girl broke 
more dishes in one day than a month wages would pay for, 
and I have been thinking since, that it would be a good rule to estab- 
lish, that a girl pays half the cost of all the dishes she breaks in one's 
service. It would make them more careful, I am sure. Why, 
really, some girls break and waste enough of their employers pro- 
perty as might cause poverty. They are so obstinately careless and 
thoughtless." 

" Yes, gran'ma, that's all true, but my cook Levoy was not care- 
less, only that one day. Some company were coming for dinner, a 
few extra dishes were required, and so 1 got a little girl to help my 
cook. About three o'clock I looked in. Everything was going on 
nicely. About tive the little gii-l ran up to me saying, " Please, 
mam, I am going home.' 'No,' said I, "you can't go yet, you 
must help Levoy.' The child burst outcrying 'Levoy chased me 
with a carving knife, and said if I came back she'd stick it in my 
heart.' ' Child,' said I, * what did you do to vex her?' 'Please, 
ma'm,' was her answer, ' I didn't do anything ; she — she's drunk.' 
'Nonsense,' I said, 'how could she, I haven't even a drop of cook- 
ing brandy in the house.' It seems one of the boarders had ordered 
a small jar. It caught her eye, she smuggled it off to the kitchen, 
drew the cork, tasted enough to want more, then at it again, until 
the bottle was nearly drained. After a while I went to the kitchen. 
But, oh, such a sight. The demon of alcohol was at work. 
Levoy's face was purple, her eyes like balls of fire, as I entered she 
sprang at me, thinking I was the girl, I took the knife from her, 
bidding her fix the fire. I waited to watch her movements ; looking 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE, 



27 



about I saw the fowl that should havo been roasting, was cut up in 
pieces and put in the swill pail, the vegetables she had put in the tea 
kettle, and tilled it up with coal oil. Swearing at the fire, because 
it would not burn, she took a roll of butter and dashed it into the 
stove. I could stand it no longer. 'Levoy,' 1 said, 'go at once to your 
room.' As she turned to go, she passed a side table,where the dishes 
wore piled. With one wild sweep of her arms she clea'red the table, 
and my beautiful dinner set lay in a thousand pieces on the floor." 

" 'Eecca, I wonder you allowed the boarders to bring liquor into 
the house." 

Dear me, Mrs. Barton, I am just as much against liquor as you 
are ; but people who have the means will find a way to obtain what 
they desire. Why, I had a real accomplished lady boarder once, 
that could not be trusted with the money to pay her board. Her 
step-son paid me. Was that not sad? However, after Levoy's 
spree, 1 got a card for every room in the house. I had the rules 
printed, and in large capitals. ' No liquor allowed in this house in any 
condition whatever.' I had peace then. But Levoy filled a drunkard's 
grave, and I fear Mas^gie Langford will do the same. Oh, dear, I 
do ! 

" Yes, 'Becca, I fear so, too. Oh ! it is bad for a man to drink, 
but ten times worse for a woman." 

Kind reader, we will now leave the women to nurse their 
sorrows, while we hunt up old Brown. You remember we had him 
in our story before Greorge Langford got married : we'll need him 
sometimes to help us along with our narrative. Of course we have 
to go back a little. 

It is New-Year's eve. Suppose yourself in one of the large 
cities in Canada. The shops are beautifully lighted up. The streets 
are so crowded that one has to elbow their way along or they might 
be pushed off the sidewalk. And to-night, of all nights in the year, 
we may tell by the countenances of the passers-by what their cir- 
cumstances are , and, often; their disposition, too. But never mind. 
Here is one jumping off a wood sleigh, who looks as happy as any. 

"I thank you for the lift," he says to the driver; " and you'll 
be sure to bring a good load of wood ?" 

" Wee, wee !" said the man as he drove off. 

Brown, for it was he, stood looking in one of the windows of 
a large grocery; then, taking out his pocket-book, he, with a pencil, 
took note of something in the window ; then pushed his way into 
the shop. While he stood taking a keen survey of the display 
inside, a dapper clerk addressed him with : " What can I do for you, 
sir?" 

I want a pound of tea." 
Here," said the clerk, " are our samples." 
" I don't know good from bad myself," he said; but give me 
the very best." 

" Will you try some of our coffee ?" 
^ "Yqs; I'll take one pound of your best. And I want four 
pounds of soda biscuit, your very best mixed; nice fresh ones." 
" Ucrc they are," said the man with the linen apron. 



28 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



Now, half a stone of oatmeal ; your very best, please. Four 
or five pounds of crushed sugar, and two pounds of old. cheese; your 
very best, mind. Now one dozen herrings ; the very best you 
have." 

"I see you have a list," said the clerk, "just see if it is not 
sardines that is marked; they are far more in demand than herring 
by our ladies these times." 

"N"o," said the customer, " she wouldn't be bothered with 
those gnats of things. There is more sense in common herring, 
only I must have your ver}^ best." 

" All right," said the clerk, giving a wink to his boss, who just 
then appeared ; I shouldn't wonder if these gi-oceries are for some 
' very best ' body." 

" You are right there," said Brown, in a firm voice; " they are 
for my very best mother." 

A number of other articles were chosen, and when the bill was 
made up it amounted to twelve dollars, which Brown cheerfully 
paid, and stood waiting till they would be put up. 

*' You are entitled to a compliment," remarked the clerk, " for 
your bill." 

"What did you say ?" asked Brown. 

" A very best bottle of brandy," said the boss, putting down a 
bottle besides the parcel. 

Brown shook his head. " You mean this for kindness, but, Mr. 
G-raem, if I took it it might hinder me from bringing you another 
twelve dollars ; so please put it on the shelf again. It doesn't agree 
with my prospects, neither for this world nor the next; but, if you 
want to treat me, I'll willingly take a few nuts and raisins for some 
little folks in the house." 

" All right," returned the boss ; and, taking a paper bag, he 
filled it with nuts, raisins and sweeties. " Now, you don't need to 
carry any of these things, our sleigh will be going out directly, and 
will deliver your parcel safe and sound. Just leave your address." 



CHAPTEE IV. 

So while the parcel is on its way, and while John Brown is in 
the barber's shop, which he entered after coming out of the grocery, 
we will precede him to his mother's. There she is, the dear old 
lady, how anxiously she listens to every footstep, how hale she 
looks, notwithstanding her years, 

" Your son has not come home yet, enquired Mrs. Crane ? " Do 
you think he will come to-night?" 

" Oh ! yes," she answered, " my son will surely be here to-night. 
I only hope he will come straight home, for there are so many traps 
and snares to get people's money in the city." 

Just then a man sang out " a box of groceries for Mrs. Brown." 

" Who ordered these ?" said Mrs. Crane. 

" Her very best son," called out the man, as he walked away 
laughing,^for^he had^overheard Brown's orders, 
Just^then Brown himself appeared, 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



29 



WeW, mother," he said, as he passed his arm lovingly around 
her and imprinted a kiss on her wrinkled face. He then lifted np 
the box and followed his mother into her own room. After a few 
minutes' rest, and enquiring for one another's health, he took off his 
coat and turned to the box of good things, to see if all were there. 
These are for you, mother. Come and see if they are good." 
Tell me first, my son, how is the conscience ?" 
" It's clear, mother." 

And the tobacco-box, John ?" 
" Smells as sweet as a nut, mother." 

" Thanks to Almighty God for such a son. And 1 hope He will 
put it into the heart of some one to care for you, when you are old 
and feeble, for your care of me, John." 

Don't trouble about that, mother. T might go first and leave 
you to die of old age. See, here, mother, is some goodies for you to 
treat the little folks with ; it's new year times." 

" Grive them some yourself, John. They will like it from you, 
and leave some for another time." 

" Mother, I think I could put hinges on this box. It would do 
nicely to put things in, wouldn't it ?" 

" Yes, my son, you are always doing and contriving something 
to make me happy." 

Just then a tap at her door, and Mrs. Crane appeared, with a 
well filled tea-tray. 

" Oh ! thank you; howkindof you," said Mrs. Brown. "JSTowwe 
shall have a cosey cup of tea. Sometimes I feel as if the best part 
of my days were only coming, everything is so good, and everybody 
too." 

When they had finished and were just enjoying a chat, " Please, 
ma'am," said two little girls coming in, " mother said that we might 
take out the tea things, and wash them for you." 

" You may, and I'll be obliged for your kindness, dears." 

" Ah ! here you little squirrels, are some nuts for you to crack," 
said John, giving them each a generous share. 

" Now, tell me, John," said his mother, " when did you see or 
hear from the Langfords ? " 

" Not for some time past, mother ; but they were all as usual 
the last time I heard." 

" Is Maggie with them yet ? " 

" Yes ; she was last spring, anyway." 

" I often wish you and she woidd marry. You might have done 
worse, John." 

"Marry! marriage is the last thing in Maggie's thoughts, 
mother." 

It would be well for Mrs. Langford if the young folks had 
some of Maggie's sober solidity." 

" Oh ! by-the-b^^e, mother, T have something else for you. Why 
where can it be ? It is not in any of my pockets, I must have left 
it — , or lost it." 

What was it, John ? " 



3Q 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



" It was a newspaper, mother. I subscribed and paid for it for 
one year, and brought a copy of it to let you see it. I'm sorry I 
have lost it." 

" And I am sorry you wasted so much money, John ; what do I 
want with a newspaper ? Dear me. do I caro for politics ? It's as 
much as I can do to read a bit of a sermon, or a chapter in the bible. 
"Why, John, half of the newspapers is scandal and murders, and the 
other half lies. I wish you could get back your year's subscrip- 
tion, 80 I do." 

" Ah ! mother, don't be vexed ; I think you'll like the paper. 
There is a great deal of religious reading in it — some taken from 
books, some present writers, some poetry, some receipts for cures, 
and for cookery — besides, you'll be able to know the news of the day, 
both here and in foreign countries. It will keep you from being 
lonesome, and when you have read it you can give it away, or use it 
for lighting the fire. It is a good Sunday paper, so it is, mother." 

" Well, John, it's a pity they didn't make you an agent, you're 
such an advocate for newspapers — but if people will circulate good 
reading, why don't they put it in books instead of newspapers ? But 
you did not tell me the name of this newspaper you are so 
full of." 

*'It is the Witness, mother; it was called, I believe, the People's 
Magazine, but now it is changed. I heard say the reason they put 
religious reading m it, was just because a great many look upon 
books as dry reading, l^ewspapers are the only thing they car© 
about reading. So, on Sunday, also, they take up the paper, and 
there religion is brought right under their eye, without their know- 
ing it, or yet intending it. And, another thing that is in fiavor of 
newspapers or magazines, I have often thought, is that when you 
buy a book you can sit down and read it right through, and it's done. 
Bat with them its different ; you get a little to-day, and a little 
another day, and keeps spinning out, just enough to read fot* an 
evening. And they do say that this is the best family paper in the 
place. There are some nice stories in it too." 

" Well, John, I hope it Avill come regular, since you have paid 
out your money for it." 

Oh, yes, it will come regular, I dare say." 
Mother, what would you say to a sleigh drive ; it's lucky to- 
morrow's the Sabl)ath instead of Monday, as I am under orders to 
finish a stable then." 

" We'll see when to-morrow comes," said his mother. 

The next day was fine, and not too cold, so John hired a sleigh 
and drove out with his mother. It was the first drive she had that 
winter, audit would likely be the only one before spring. It cost 
John a shilling or two, but it seemed to put new life into the old 
lady, she enjoyed it so. Eeader, was it wrong for them to do so ? In 
most cases it would be so. 

" Well, John, I would like to go to church if you would take 
me — the day is so fine, and I feel kind of stronger after that airing, 
but I dread going alone in winter — that hill is so slippery." 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



31 



Well, mother, you just rest yourself, and I'll turn cook to-day. 
It's a long time till two o'clock ; I am glad the sleigh drive done you 
no harm." 

After dinner they started for the kirk. She, poor woman, like 
a good many other old country folks, thou2;ht there was very little 
religion in any other. However, they had only gone a few blocks 
when they got among a number of people going into a small sized, 
plain looking church. 

Mother," said Brown, I think we would save a long journey 
by going in here." 

"What!" said the old lady, opening up her eyes in astonish- 
ment. " What ! go into an unorthodox Methodist church. I never 
was inside of one of them in my life." 

" Why not, mother,, there is good there as well as any other 
church. Indeed, they are far more friendly there than in those 
large established churches." 

" Yery well, John, I'll go in to please you, and you'll come out 
to please me, and that may be before the second prayer." 

" It's a bargain, mother." whispered John, and in they went. 

They took a seat back near the door, and the old lady watched 
with a jealous eye each one as they come in. 

" I wonder if they are sincere in their devotion," she whispered 
to her son. ''But here is the minister going into the pulpit." 

He was middle aged, and rather plain looking. He knelt down 
for a few moments in silent prayer. 

" Dear me," whispered Mr. Brown, " but he is unlike a clergy- 
man ; neither go wn nor bands, not even a white necktie." 

He left the pulpit and came down, and now stood warming his 
hands, and rubbing them. She could not help noticing, however, 
that he had a kind word for everyone as they passed him, and a 
pleasant smile for those in the distance. But 'ere he turned to go 
into the pulpit, he called out " If those sitting near the door would 
come forward, they would be warmer." 

A few came, but John and his mother sat still ; at last the 
preacher came round to them and addressing himself to Mr. Brown, 
said, Would you mind coming farther up ? It is rather too near 
the door for this aged sister." 

" Indeed, you are wrong, Sir, I am his mother and he is my son,' 
said the old woman, quite offended like. 

" I beg your pardon," said the preacher, ''and I would like to 
take you to a better seat. People up in years do not hear quite as 
well as others, and I like to have them near me." 

Now, how could they resist such kindness ? So rising they fol- 
lowed him, and were soon sitting in a nice comfortable pew near the 
pulpit. Service commenced, the singing, the prayer and the read- 
ing, and the second prayer were over when .John nudged his mother 
and whispered, " We will go now, the second prayer is ended." 

" Wait a minute, John." 

And John did wait a minute; aye, two or three of them. Then 
giving his motlier a nudge, whispered, " we'll be late to hear 
the sermon in our own church. Will you come now ?" 



32 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



She gave an impatient little jerk, " saying, " Oh ! we'll just wait 
and hear their sermon ; I've heard nothing wrong yet. 

" Very, well," whispered honest John sitting himself back, 
"You'll come out when the rest of the congregation leaves." 

It was neither a very lengthy sermon, nor what some would 
call a deep one, but it was an earnest appeal to the unconverted to 
come to Christ for salvation ; to begin at once a new life, pressing 
on to perfection. After the benediction the people passed along in 
such a crowd, that John, out of consideration for his mother, waited 
till there would be more space. Very courteously the preacher 
waited to speak to her. 

" You are welcome to that seat an}^ time you find it too far 
to your own place of worship, as the family are away for the winter. 
And now tell me, friend, how did you enjoy the service." 

" Oh ! very well, I thank you," returned Mrs. Brown, but whe 
answered hesitatingly, "Perhaps I did'nt catch rightly what you said 
in your discourse, sir. You seemed to lay great stress on the sin- 
ner's doing. Now, I look on it in this light, Christ takes the soul 
as it is, and makes it as he would have it ; of course a person can 
do a great deal to help themselves, after they know more." 

The preacher smiled and said, "lam sorry I failed to make 
things clear, bat I thank you for telling me so. I wish all my own 
people would be as open and candid with me, it would help me in 
my studies greatly." 

"Oh ! but, sir, yonr own congregation, very likely, understands 
you better ; you see, sir, your way is a little different from ours ; 
and another thing, I am an old woman and not so smart at 
hearing." 

" Yes, said the preacher, " but you seem very hearty, and may 
outlive many of us yet. You remind me greatly of my own mother." 
The preacher thus changed the subject, by asking if this was the 
first time she had ever been in this meeting house ? 

" I think I have been here before, but not for some years past." 

"I daresay, my gO(»d woman, both place and people have 
changed since then. This house shows signs of decay, as well as 
you and I. I suppose you did not hear me when I called you or 
any others who were sitting near the door to come up to the 
upper end? It was so cold down there." 

" Oh, yes ; my hearing is not so bad as that, sir, quite, sir," 
said John. " You know we're strangers, and did not know as if you 
meant us to go up. It might be intrusion, but it was very kind of 
you to come the way you did." 

" Why, you see, I was so anxious to have all the aged peoj^le 
near me, particularly strangers, that I could not help going to you 
and inviting you cordially to a warmer part, but another plan has 
just come into my head while talkitig to you." 

" What do you mean," asked Brown, " by another plan." 

" I mean that it has just occurred to me that I might have taken 
you on my back and carried you forward." 

" Carried me ?" exclaimed the old woman, gazing at him. " You 
would have had a deal to do. Pretty thing, indeed ! Carry me on 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



83 



your back as if I were a sheep, or a log of wood. I want to let you 
know, sir, that I am not doting to such an extent, but I can take an 
insult. Stop your laughing, John. How can you see your mother 
spoken to in that way ?" 

The preacher was trying to keep on a long face, but it was not 
80 easily done, and he was very glad to find some excuse for going 
into the vestry for a printed circular, asking them to wait just a 
minute, as it would let them know the hours of service and the 
meetings during the week. 

No sooner had he turned his back than Mrs. B. began. "Dear 
me, but these Methodists are a very irreverent set, groaning and 
praying one hour, and then fooling and jesting the next. Who ever 
heard our good Scotch minister doing the like?" 

" Hush, mother," interrupted John, " here he is. Don't gel 
angry ; show him you know better." 

" Here," said he, is a printed card, stating our weekly meetings ) 
and hours of service on the Sabbath. So you don't like the idea of 
me carrying you, and yet a great many think that God should take 
souls out of the depths of sin and degradation ; wash off the filth 
without their feeling it ; that God should break them off the habits 
of sin without the least effort on their part; change and renew their 
nature, and they know nothing about it ; in fact, just carry them 
without their feeling a jolt by the way right into Heaven. ]^o, God 
does not use us like pieces of insensible machinery. He deals with 
souls, so to speak, as man would deal with man. He persuades to bo 
saved, but forces none. But here we must part, so good bye for the 
present." 

The Browns walked home in silence. 

Next day John was preparing to leave. His mother had pre- 
pared for him a good supply of warm things for winter, socks and 
mitts included. 

" Just give me what you have in your carpet bag, and I'll fix 
them over, and have them ready the next time you come home." 

" Why, mother, you have made so much for me, I'll hardly want 
another thing this winter. Oh ! here is the newspaper in my carpet 
bag all the time — Montreal Witness — I'm glad I found it." 

" Oh ! John, before you go, tell me about that church. Tell me, 
John, so that I may know whether to go again or not. You see it's 
so much nearer than the hill church." 

" lam not sure mother, whether they are Baj)ti8ts, Congrega- 
tionalists or Bible Christians." 

"Aye, John, I'm thinking they are Bible Christians, for he has 
the matter at heart, though he takes a droll way of telling it. He 
makes a deal of the bible ; there is sense, too, in what he says, and 
if he only had a gown on, he wouldn't be a bad looking man that. 
But, John, these half learned preachers were not much thought of 
by our Kirk ministers in the old country. I'm not saying, mind, 
that this man is not learned. I mind long ago they used to have 
what they called field preaching on the hill's side, and our good 
minister would stand on a rise of ground and preach the real gospel 
to the people. But one day one of the unlicensed preachers took the 



84 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



stand, before their own pastor came on the ground, and he was 
laying down the law and the gospel to them in rather a homely 
way, but very earnestly. Then he opened a Wesley hymn-book, 
and read out a hymn to be sung. When lo ! and behold ! who should 

come along but the Eev. Mr. W n, pushing the people right and 

left. He made straight for the preacher and knocked him off the 
stand saying he could not tolerate such proceedings, nor allow his 
-peoiAe to be led in their devotions by no vagrant, and then he 
jiieached such a sermon as they had not heard the like of for many 
a day before." 

" So, so, mother, if the vagrant preacher failed to edify the 
people, he roused their minister. I met one of these would-be 
missionaries once in Cobourg, he looked so conceitedly proud of his 
talent that I asked him one day, how he could stand up and face a 
congregation, without preparation for he never studied his sermons ? 
' Oh ! ' said he, ' I look over them all as so many stumps and keep 
uppermost in my mind, that I know more than any of them. That's 
the way I get on.' But he was a bad man, as I found out after- 
wards. He w^as too lazy to work, and imposed upon the people, 
trying to pass himself otf as a good lecturer. Oh ! mother, I wonder 
how^ any one can be so Avicked." 

" Why, John, there is good and bad in all trades and professions 
too ; you'll find it the case in every country. The Presbyteries 
Jiave much to contend with sometimes, for often young converts 
with little learning, as soon as they get a little spiritual knowledge, 
nothing will do but they must away and tell everybody what they 
know, and too often they treat others as if they were as ignorant as 
they themselves once were, and so they do harm." 

" I dare say that's true, mother. If they would just wait till 
they are established in the faith somewhat, and can practice the 
rules they recommend to others, they would not make so many 
blunders. But mother dear, it is time I was olf ; take care of 
yourself, and see that you want for nothing, and you'll read the 
IVitncss, won't you?" 

" Yes, yes, John, I'll read it if only for your sake. I see there 
is a storj" commenced in this one, and they will be handy to light 
my fire with too. Good-bye, my son. God bless and keep you." 

" Good-bye, mother." 

Mrs. Brown then turned in to have a chat with her tenant. 
" John's off again/' she said, then stopped short. ''Dear me, Mrs. 
Crane, why don't you sew up your skirt ? It is getting worse every 
step you take. I don't wan't to vex you, but really you ought to 
have more self-respect. Just you think, your husband comes in 
from his business, where he sees other women neat and clean. Ain't 
you afraid his love will cool?" 

" No, Mrs. Brown, my husband's love aint so weak." 

" But he may think your's is. However, that is not what I came 
in to talk about. Can you tell me about the Bible Christians ? Are 
they sound on the faith or not ?" 

" I can't say much about them," was her answer. '' The way I 
came to hear them is this : Our folk used to tend the kirk, and some- 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



35 



times the Independents near at hand ; I was a slip of a girl then. 
For a long time I was very unhappy, and longed for some one to 
talk to me about the world to come, but, like a great many^ I was 
too backward to say so. Tho kirk minister never took th^ least 
notice of me, good or bad. I met him and the Congregational pastor 
many a time on the street, and with a heavy heart saw them ddss 

by." 

" Why, why, Mrs. Crane, if you had given the slightest hint he 
would have conversed with you any time. My good woman, it in 
there we get the real marrow of the Gospel." 

" Yes, ma'am; I know is Avas my own fault. Do you know that 
kirk is standing yet with its sounding board and cell-like pews ? One 
night I went into the Wesleyan chapel. It was beautifully lighted 
up with sperm candles, and a storm was coming on." The people 
were all on their knees, some praying, some crying, and some groan- 
ing. The preacher raising his voice above the others praj^ed. 'Holy fire 
come down from Heaven and melt our hearts !' Just then a flash of 
lightning came, followed by a roll of thunder. Trembling with 
fear I came away, for I thought, perhaps, the church would be struck 
with lightning as a judgment for their want of reverence. Their 
manner was something I was not accustomed to. So different from 
the solemn order of the kirk. A few weeks after that I stepped into a 
small building, their service was very simple and quiet, I noticed an 
old woman up at the farther end, who had a peculiar way of rising 
from her seat and walkin.o- about. Then she would stand for live 

o 

minutes, sometimes facing the people, and sometimes with her back to 
them. Her hands always clasped across her breast, swaying herself 
backwards and forwards. One evening she came down the aisle to 
me, laid her hand on my shoulder, saying : ^ Friend, seek the Lord 
now. Now, He will be found.' Then went up into the pulpit." 

"Oh ! Mrs. Crane, she had no right there." 

"Perhaps not, but with her hands clasping the bible she began, 
' Hud is ill to night, so I will address you, my friends, as the spirit 
moves me, I feel in me to speak to you from these words, ' Mandicth 
and wasteth.' " 

" Mrs. Crane, did you really listen to a woman preaching ?" 

" Yes, ma'am ; I did. Her sermon was nice enough, of course ; 
not much of a get up. I met her next day on the sidewalk. 
8he caught my hand looking earnestly in my face, said, 
' Youth is the time to serve the Lord, my friend, serve the Lord 
now.' Then passed on without another word. Many a good sermon 
I heard from the Independent, the Kirk and the English Church, 
too, sound orthodox, well studied, I only heard them, but these few 
words from that old woman I felt. ' Friend, seek the Lord nowj 
' Now, He will be found.' ' Do you believe it?' That night I lay 
crying, fearing I had committed a great and unpardonable sin. For 
I know not how to seek or serve the Lord. That woman is dead 
now, and Hud, too." 

" She must have been a Quaker, Mrs. Crane." 

"I don't know ma'm ; they were called Bible Christians, 
though in dress and manner tbey looked like Quakers. Every one 



36 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



wore broad hats and all dressed in black or gray. I saw no other 
colour there, not even a ribbon or flower. The women looked like 
nuns." 



CHAPTER V. 

" Talking about dress, I once heard a dear old lady tell the way 
some of the early settlers had to dress. 1 think the place was about 
Merrickville. The men wore jackets and breeches made of deer skin, 
and many a time came to meeting bare-footed. The women wore 
short gowns and petticoats of blue and yellow drugget, and, like the 
men, were often bare-footed. The old lady, who told me, said the 
want of better clothes did not keep them at home, because the word 
of the Lord was too precious, in those days, to miss hearing." 

"That is true," replied Mrs. Brown. " We think we have hard 
times, but, dear me, it is really nothing compared to what the early 
settlers had to endure. Wh}', away up the Ottawa, where stands the 
grand capital of the Dominion, their forefathers slept under their 
canoes,and kept up afire all night,tor fear of wild beasts. Where now 
there are good churches, men and women hare worshiped under 
trees, and where now there are good roads and railroads, men, with 
blistered feet, have walked, with a bundle on their backs; the horse, 
too, carried more on his back in those days than any other way. It 
is changed times for the better, thank God. And now, while I think 
of it, Mrs. Crane, how is it that you have never connected yourself 
with any denomination since you came to live in Montreal." 

"Why," she answered, "just because none of them are what 
they ought to be." 

"Such an excuse !" said Mrs. Brown, indignantly. " Are you 
and I what we ought to be. If it is perfection you look for, you will 
have to go to another world, or else start the thing yourself." 

Just then Mr. Crane came down stairs and said : 

"If you two are not too tired worrying about churches I will give 
you another case to analyze, for I too heard a strange preacher in 
New York, last week." 

"Oh!" exclaimed Mrs. Brown, lifting up her hands. "How 
horrid, was it another woman ?" 

"No, ma'm, it was a man preaching down all other clergy ; his 
own the strangest doctrine I ever heard. He says the wicked will not 
live hereafter, only the righteous will become immortal. The 
wicked will be burned up with the weeds, and be no more. lie 
thought he was making an impression on the audience, as two young 
men kept turning over the leaves of their bibles. But he was mis- 
taken, for when we were all coming out one of them confronted him. 
'Sir, if the doctrine of future punishment has not been made plain 
enough in the bible to suit your comprehension, you had better leave 
it alone.' " 

" Dear me, Mr. Crane, would Jesus so often have spoken of 
eternal fire if there were none. Jesus warned people of God's wrath 
far more than any o; the prophets or apostles did. Excuse me for 
saying so, but I don't think it is right of you and your wife to 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



37 



run after every strange doctrine. ' Itching ears make aching 
hearts.' " 

" Very true," said the other, without taking the hint. The 
fact is, the people are getting so wise and go-ahead, that they think 
if they could only get retribution out of their creeds, they could 
live as they like." 

]N"o end to creeds, ma'am. I once heard a doctor's widow 
declare she would never die, her faith was so strong, and all who 
could get to that certain pitch of that certain faith, would never die, 
could walk on the water, or " 

" Stop," said Mrs. Brown, quite horrified ; " the good Lord save 
me from such a silly faith." 

"Load of wood for Madam Brown," was now called out. 

" Oh !" said she, " my son ordered it on Saturday." 

After unloading, the man came asking for his money. 

" Why," said Mrs. Brown, " he told me he paid you." 

" No," replied the carter, ''he gave me dat bit paper for to find 
your number, but no money. I want my money." 

Crane took the paper, looked carefully over it ; " Yes, bonum, 
that is the right number, and something more; so clear ofi", or I will 
have you in the lock-ujD. It is well for Madam Brown you could 
not read. See there; paid ten shillings. ' Black on White.' " 

The Frenchman, after muttering a few sacrSs, walked off. 

'' Good day ; good day, Jones ! We're lucky to drive so near 
together. 

"Yes, Collins; and tell me^ are you nearly fixed up? Let me 
know when you are ? I want to have my granary in something of 
the same style. And, say! isn't that man blind pf one eye? Is 
he a good worker ?" 

" Oh, yes ; he is a good tradesman ; but, of course, very slow ; 
takes him a long time to get through with anything. You see the 
whole place was so out of repairs ; I have had him working for the 
last three weeks ; and, really, Jones, I could find him other three 
weeks' work there yet. Of course his charges are low." 

Now, reader, we will suppose these two farmers living near 
Colburn and within sight of each other, and now that they have 
arrived at the gate of Mr. Collins' establishment, they are saluted 
by a whistle from Joe, a sharp youngster of nine or ten years. 

"Come down, you young rascal," exclaimed his father. " What 
are you doing up there, riding fences ? Come down," 

" Don't speak to me that way, dad. You know you made me 
boss afore you went away this morning." 

" And a nice boss you are, leaving your men, riding the gates, 
and scaring the crows," said his father. 

" The crows are not a bit afraid of me, dad ; I'm just watching 
for the doctor, so he won't ride past." 

" All ! is that it ? And, pray, what do you want with the 
doctor ?" added the farmer. " To mend your old jacket, eh ?" 

" No; not to mend my jacket; but Mr. Brown has cut his foot 
awfully." 

"But, Joe, the doctor mightn't pass this road for a month." 
3 



38 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



"Ah! but he has passed already. It's to your house, Mr. 
Jones. Your Janet is awful sick, and turns somersaults all over. 
Mother's up there, too. See, there he comes ! I know'd he'd gallop 
down. Dad, who's right now ? " 

And the little fellow stood up on the gate, waving his straw hat, 
and bawling, " Stop here ! Stop here ! " 

" What can all this mean," muttered Jones to himself. " I left 
them all well in the morning ;" and he drove forward a few paces to 
meet the doctor, who, in a low tone, gave the required explanation, 
adding, " I will call to see her to-morrow." 

And what — am I wanted here too, my boy ? " 
I guess you be ; you see we want to kill two dogs with one 
bone, doctor." 

" Ah ! you are," said, the familiar doctor, and you want me to 
help you skin and cut them up." 

" 1^0 ! no ! Sir ; but just after you rode up to Jones', our carpen- 
ter out his foot awfully, and he told me to watch for you. Dad's 
gone in to see him. There's dad ; he's looking for you to come." 

The wound was stitched and bandaged ; and the doctor's orders 
were that it must be kept as easy as possible, and no pressure laid 
on it for some time. Brown (for it was he) was at a loss for some 
one to wait on him. Now, Joe was a quick, obliging lad, and, 
moreover, a favourite of Brown's. So he coaxed his folks to let him 
'tend the patient. One morniug after he had brought him his break- 
fast and done up his room, for the boy took credit to himself for fix- 
ing up, said : 

" I'm going to the village with dad, and if you want anything 
more, you'd better say so now, as I won't be back till after twelve." 

'* Thanks," said Brown. "Will you unlock my trunk over 
there, and give me my pocket-book and pencil?" 

"■ Here they are," said Joe. "What a funny little box you have 
in your trunk. May I look at it ? " 

"Certainly; you may take it to the light, and turn it about, 
Joe. There's nothing in it that will bite." 

" Oh," said the child, " that's a nice box. Have you had it 
long?" 

" Yes, Joe, I've had it a long time. Would you like to have the 
history of that little box ? " 

" I guess I would," said the little boy. 

" Well, Joe, I'm going to ti'ust you like a little man. Here is 
two dollars to give to the doctor when you go to the village'; and 
will you bring me a bottle of some grog. Do you ever drink any 
yourself, Joe? " 

" Yes," said the child ; " only I like whiskey the best — toddy, 
with plenty of sugar in it. It doesn't burn so nor make me so dizzy 
like." 

" Yery well, Joe, bring me some whiskey, or any kind you like. 
It's all the same to me." 

In the afternoon .Joe returned with his hands full and his heart 
light, and immediately went to the kitchen for hot water and sugar." 

" Here they are," said he; " and mind about the box." 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



" Yes, yes," said Brown. Sit down on the bed here, and I'll 
tell you, for it's a precious relic to me, and my old mother thanks 
that box for many a New Year's gift." 

" Why, is your mother alive yet, Mr. Brown ? " 

" Indeed she is, and as cheery and as comfortable as woman can 
be; Why, Joe, it would do y©u good to see her in her cosey chair, 
with spectacles on her nose, and her gray hairs covered with a snug 
white cap, sometimes knitting socks for me, sometimes reading an 
old bible in large print. Every time I go to see her, she is sure to 
ask about the tobacco box." 



CHAPTER VL 

" Well," interrogated Joe, " You don't smoke either, leastways 
I never seed you smoking or chewing either." 

''Few have seen you smoking either, Joe, amd yet you do it for 
all that." 

" Ah ! see here Brown^ the water is getting cold, I'll run back 
for more." 

''.Never mind, Joe, can't you take it once without water ? " 

" No, I couldn't take it without, why it would nearly take away 
my breath. My brother Benny could, though. Why, he could 
drink it like water, could you. Brown ? " 

" No, my boy, I must say I don't drink it like water. How 
does your brother Sam take it ? " 

" Him ? Oh, he don't take it at all. He used to be so mad with 
Benny lying about the barn drunk, that he wouldn't taste any; 
You see it was just contrary ness for ho likes it well enoagh. But 
oh ! man, if you seed all the pipes and tobacco he uses. My sister 
says she can tell by the smell which of them are in. But I ain't 
going to be like either of them, I'm going to smoke a little, chew a 
little and drink a little, for I get sick so easy, so I do." 

"Poor boy," said the carpenter, "I feel for you. I was once a 
boy myself, and used to be awful sick too. I didn't know then that ■ 
it was poison in that that made me so sick and dizzy, but I know 
now." 

" Why ! Brown, don't you use tobacco or drink now ? " 
" No, not for many a day." 

" Then why did jou tell me to bring you a bottle ? " 

" Listen Joe, and don't get angry. I sent you for it just to get 
an opportunity of talking to you about it. So listen my man. It's 
all of three weeks since i came to work for your father, and during 
that time I've taken a great liking for you, and wish with all my 
heart that you may grow up a healthy, happy man, useful and 
respected. But, if you take to drinking, you run a great risk of 
losing both your health and your money. A drunkard is not a 
very useful man, a slave to tobacco or snuif, always carries with 
them a smell of what they arc." 

"But, Brown, what makes you think there is poison in them ? " 

3J 



40 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



" Why, Joe, that's plain enough. Now tell me, if you were to 
take a drink of tea or coffee, and become quite dizzy or sick after it, 
wouldn't you say there's something wrong in it ? Of course you 
would ; or if you were to get sick at the stomach repeatedly after 
eating a piece of bread, wouldn't your father and mother, as well as 
yourself, say there was something wrong in that bread ? I'm sure 
they would, and very likely have the baker taken up for it. You 
are rather young, Joe, to understand such big talk; but, Joe, if I 
wanted to kill you to-night, I would drink first, or if I wanted to rob 
your father, I would drink first to make me frenzied, to spirit me, to 
drive out fear of being detected, to give what we call false courage." 

" But what do they put poison in these things for ? " 

" Joe, that's too big a question for me to answer. Indeed, 
what's the use of me trying to tell why the poison is put in, or what 
it is ? It's quite enough for us to know that the deadly thing is 
there, and, as for only taking a little as you speak of doing, my 
dear boy, you vv^ill become so used to it, that you will not know when 
to stop. Shall I tell you what made little Jennet so sick the other 
day?" 

" Why, I know," said Joe ; " they said it was fits or worms." 
Joe, I'll tell you a secret. It was whiskey that made her sick, 
and nearly cost her life. Don't talk about it." 

" No, I won't: but how could a baby get drunk ?" 

" Listen to me, Joe, and think what a dangerous thing it is. 
Mrs. Jones had sent one of the children down to the cellar to draw a 
jug of whiskey out of a gallon jar, and have ready for the father 
when he would come in. Well, it was left standing on the table, 
and little Janet, thinking it was water, climbed a chair, caught 
hold of the Jug, and hastily swallowed some of it. The mother was 
out milking, and, being alarmed by the child's screams, she hastened 
in, and found she had regained her breath, but acted strange and 
wild. They sent, as you know, for the doctor. When he arrived 
she was almost gone. You have heard, over and over again, how 
raving mad she was, and how they had to pump her stomach empty. 
Now, Joe, I've been telling what a bad thing it is to drink. Now 
I'll tell you what a good thing it is not to drink. When the doctor 
looked at my foot, and mind you it was a bad ciit, he said, you will 
have no trouble with that foot, for I see you are a cool- blooded man, 
but, if you were a drinker, it would be a hard case." 

" Were you ever drunk ?" said Joe. 

"Yes, Joe, many times. I had hard work stopping, but I did 
though,or I would likely be in the drunkard's grave now, for I had got 
over the dizziness you speak of, and could tip my glass like the worst 
of them. My greatest trouble was not how to swallow it, but how 
to get it without the knowledge of my mother; for our means were 
very limited, and she watched me as none but a mother can watch. 
She often told me that dissipation was undermining my health and 
future prospects ; but I heeded her not. It happened one day that 
I was working on a high building, and, having taken a glass too 
much, I lost my footing and fell to the ground, . bruised and 
stunned." 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



41 



" It's a wonder yon were not killed." 

" It left me a slight twist in my neck and shoulder, making me 
pass ever since for an old man. i tell you, Joe, that fall sobered 
me. I saw mother was about right, and made up my mind to take 
less of that dangerous stuff. But I found that a harder matter than 
I bargained for. I'll tell you what, Joe, if young chaps when they're 
trying so hard to get used to tobacco and drink, only knew how 
desperate hard it is to break off taking it in after years, when their 
health is endangered by it, they would save themselves a great deal, 
to say the least of it. I remember I was in an awfal fix. So some 
person told me that I had better keep a quid of tobacco in my 
mouth, and there would be no danger of my getting drunk on that, 
and that a man must have something to wet his whistle with. Per- 
haps you are tired listening to me, Joe?" 

" Not a bit tired ; tut didn't you have a father ?' 

" Oh, yes ; but he died when I was a young chap. Then 
mother and I were alone, and lived together, for I had no brotherci 
or sisters like you. I was a strong, hearty chap till I took to drink. 
Then times got hard, my health began to fail ; my poor mother did 
grieve about me ; bill after bill came in to her, and how were they 
to be settled. At last one day — I mind it as If it was yesterday- 
she laid her hand on my shoulder, and said in a kindly tone : 'John, 
I want to ask your advice about what is to be done.' ' What about ?' 
said I. ' Sit down, my son,' she said. ' You know there are a great 
many bills to pay. I was just thinking if we could sell our lease of 
this house, and sell what furniture we have, we might manage to 
pay our just debts, though nothing more. l!^ow, what do you think 
about it ?' 'But, mothei^,' said I, 'what would you do for a home ?' 

' My boy,' she answered, ' you will be going up to S the first of 

the month. I think you will do well with the Langford's ; they 
are a quiet, kind family. The doctor says a change of air will do 
you good ; but don't be alarmed when I mention the workhouse, for 
there my home will have to be, unless I get strong enough to take a 
situation.' ' Oh, I cried, ' don't say so. Is there no other way to be 
done ?' ' There is only one alternative,' said she, ' and that I have 
not the courage to speak o1, as I fear it would fail. I must now go 
to work fixing your clothes, while I have a house to do it in. 
My own things will do.' 'Mother! mother!' I said, 'you 
must tell me the alternative. I will do anything you ask me.' 
' Well, John, if I must, I will. It is this. That you, my stay, 
my joy, give up drinking, smoking and chewing ; keep better 
hours, rest more and eat more. The doctor has told you more than 
once that nothing else will save you. Tobacco is draining your 
system, and drink is burning your stomach and liver.' ' Mother,' 
I said, ' God helping me, I will drink no more.' ' John,' she said, 
looking me in the face, ' God helps them who help themselves.' 
We were silent for a few minutes, ' But, mother,' said I, ' it may 
be that stopping all at once may upset me. Might I use up slowly 
what is in the house?' ' I can hardly tell you,' she said, hesitat- 
ingly, 'if thei-e is only one bottle you may, but if there is more you 
must throw it out, it will he bettor,' W^^'K Joe, in desperation I 



42 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



went to see how mucli there was. I found three bottles on the shelf, 
but only a little in each, but mother had said I might only keep one. 
Just then a bright thought, though a mean one, struck me, I could 
easily put it all into one. I did so without minding that it was all 
different kinds. Namely, whiskey^ gin and porter, and what made 
it worse, the little mug I used to fill it in with had chamomile in 
it, that I was to have taken that morning. So all went together. 
It was well that I did it myself and not my mother. I would have 
been real angry; but as it was John Brown did it, John Brown 
must e'en take the matter quiet, and would you believe it ? That 
bottle did more towards curing me than all the doctor's raedecine. 
But, I tell you, Joe, it went slow enough, I was so disgusted that 
from that time till now, I can't bear even the smell of grog." 



CHAPTEE VTI. 

" Well, Brown, that's a splendid story. Most as good as a 
speech, or a book, only you hav'nt said a word about this little 
box." 

" Oh ! I have not. Well you see I was too sick for a long time 
to work, but not ill enough to be in bed, and time hung heavy on my 
hands. So I used to sit whittling and carving little things, some- 
times for use and sometimes for fancy. This was one of them, I 
cut and carved it out of a piece of curly maple. The lid you see I 
made to shut with a spring. This way. You see there are two 
divisions, one I intended for my knife, pipe and tobacco. The other 
for buttons, thread, needles and pins, as my work often took me 
away for weeks together." 

" But, said Joe, what is up in the inside of the lid, here, 
covered with something ? " 

" Hold on, my boy, and I'll tell you. I think it was a week 
after the bottle affair, that I took a little before breakfast, and it 
did make me so sick, that I said : ' Mother, I'll be pretty well weaned 
from drink before that bottle is done.' Then I up and told her of the 
mixture I had made. ' Mother,' said I, 'it would sicken a dog to 
drink it.' ' Well, John, you are about right, only there is not much 
danger of the dog taking it, or the pig either. They have better 
taste than you, my son, and I would advise you to take these 
animals as a pattern of sobriety.' ' Ah ! mother,' I said, ' I have not 
spent a great deal on drink. I have carefully counted every penny, 
and the very highest it is not five shillings a week, sometimes not 
two.' ' Are you sure,' said she, ' for I have been keeping an account 
too, but make it out far more than you say. I have it as high as 
five dollars, sometimes.' ' Oh ! mother, mother, you have made a 
mistake ! Dear me, I have not spent that much all my life for smok- 
ing, drinking and all.' Well, Joe, my mother, without saying 
another word, went to the little cupboard, took down a little china 
cup from a high shelf, and taking out some bits of paper, gave me 
one, saying : * There is one account.' I took it, and what was it, 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



43 



but a piece of a burnt ten shilling bill. ' I got that,' she said, 'on 
your floor, one day.' 'But, mother, how did it get burnt?' 
She said, ' that is just what I was thinking about, and was very 
curious to find out. I thought, maybe, John gets up in his sleep, 
and does things, and who knows but he may burn down the house 
some night. So every night after that, when I would hear you 
sti'ike a match, I was on the watch ; and one night, John, you lit 
the candle, got a drink of water, looked what time it was, and then 
lay down again with the candle in your hand, and falling asleep, 
dropped it on the bedclothes, which quickly caught fire. Quietly 
and quickly I was at your side and put it out, and went back to my 
room to thank God for appointing me your guardian angel that 
night.' My mother then took another bit of paper out of her little cup. 
'Here,' said she, 'is the remains of another burnt bill— a five 
dollar bill. But whether to charge it on drinking or smoking, I 
leave you to decide, as I found it sticking in your pipe.' ' Grive 
them both to me, mother,' I cried, ' the sight of them may do me 
good. I thought you had taken that money long ago, mother, to 
pay for wood.' 'No, John, it is not paid for yet.' 'Well, 
Joe, to make my story short : I got a good tenant into 
our house, my mother keeping one room for herself. I went to 
work, and in a few weeks was able to send home twenty dollars to 
my mother." 

"Well, now, what are all those little shiny dots upon the box 
lid for ?" and then I'll be satisfied. 

"Turn it up the other way, Joe, and you'll see for yourself. 
It's words formed with these tacks. See there, ' God helps them 
who help themselves.' " 

" Oh ! that's a real handy box, Mr. Brown, and you have 
buttons, thread, needles, pins and scissors, all safe and clean. 
Well, now, you have told me a real splendid story. Tou 
should write it all down on paper." 

" Well, now, Joe, what are we to do with this bottle ? I have 
done all I wanted with it. You had better throw it out. What do 
you think?" 

"Will you give it to me for nothing. Brown ^" 

"No, Joe, I would rather you would throw it out at once." 

"Oh; but. Brown, you might put something bad in it, so I'll 
never drink it." 

"Listen to me, Joe. I'll make a bargain with you. Here is a 
gold coin worth two dollars and a half. Now, I will put it in the 
savings bank for you. It will keep growing, and will be yours on 
condition that you use neither liquor nor tobacco in any shape till 
you are twenty-one. Will you agree to that ?" 

" Yes, sir, I wUl," said the child, " and you're a real good man, 
80 you be, and I most wish you'd been my brother." 

" I am your brother, Joe. Don't you know all who have charity, 
and love one another as they ought, are children of one Father in 
Heaven. Now, smash the bottle over the stair door. There's some- 
thing bad in it already." 

Joo did so, but soon returned, crying, " Oh ! oh ! you know 



44 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



what ? Mick is chasing his boy with a big whip handle, and he's 
awful angry." 

"Call him, Joe. Call ' Mick, come quick, Brown wants you.' " 

Joe called as desired, and Mick ran up the open stairway, ex- 
claiming, " What does he want? Are you worse, eh? I thought 
you had burst a vein, Joe called so." 

Close up, Mick ; come, close up ; sit on my bed. Why, you 
are all in a heat." 

So would yon, Brown, if you had a boy to torment you like 
mine; but never mind, I'll make him feel the weight of this stick, 
the young rascal." 

" It would take a crowbar to conquer him. Mick, it's a bad 
way to correct when you are in a passion." 

What cool talk you use. Brown ; why, that boy won't mind 
me unless I get angrj^ — that's so, and I have often to make believe I 
am angry. He watches me with the corners of his eyes, and he 
knows when I am going to make a dart at him. But, man dear, old 
maids and old bachelors know nothing about raising children. I 
have a right to bate my childer, and I'll do it, that's more." 

" Look, Mick," said Brown, " do you see that eye ?" 

" In course I do. I'd need to be blind of both eyes not to see 
that ugly hole in your face, where an eye ought to be." 

" Mick, father did it, my own father ; I was his only boy ; he 
loved me, too, but he forgot to rule his own spirit when he went to 
punish me ; he had a saw in his hand at the time ; I never knew 
whether he threw it at me, or struck me. And, listen, Grod 
corrects people ; we call it trial or affliction. And often prayer is 
made that he would sanctify affliction, that is, bless it for their good, 
making the people better christians than they were before. Now, 
Mick, I do think it would be a good thing for you to ask God to 
give you His own blessing on the correction you give your boy, and 
go about thrashing him in a calm way. Sit still, I am not done. 
The old fashioned book says: ' He that spareth the rod hateth the 
child.* And don't foriret Mick, it says in another place : 'Fathers, 
provoke not your children to wrath.' And, in another place, 
'G-reater is he that ruleth his own spirit, than he that taketh a city.' 
And, remember " 

" Ah ! Mr. Brown, it's fine and easy to lay down rules, but you'll 
not find them so easy to keep yourself, if you had it to do." 

"It's true, I never had it to do, myself, Mick, but still it does 
seem to me that it is a duty, a prerogative ordinance, or whatever 
you like to call it, that is sadly abused. Some punish too much ; 
others don't punish enough, but instead are constantly threatening 
or promising, and that is only so much waste of breath. Children 
soon get used to it. Sometimes one parent takes the child's part 
against the other, which has a contrary effect. Some won't slap a 
child unless they are angry at it, and that is a dangerous time. 
Look at my poor eye; what a proof I carry through life. Sorrow 
for that helped my father to the grave. I would have left this sad 
truth buried with my father, only to save you from hurting your 
son." 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



45 



CHAPTER VIIL 

" 1 smell something," said Mick, as he snuffed and looked 
around. " I say, old boy, have you a bottle here ? A taste of good 
stuff always puts me in good humor. That's a fact, sir." 

"I had a bottle here, Mick, but I've just bad it thrown out. 
That's it you smelt." 

" You're fooling, Brown, you didn't." 

" Yes, it's gone ; Joe threw it over the stair." 
Then its bad manners ye have, and not a bit of christian about 
ye, I say. Throw it out, and mesilf a choken' with the drouth. Say 
the truth, Joe, did you? " 

" Yes, Mick, I did. Brown, you tell him that story, and he'll 
never drink again." 

" Bah !" cried Mick, go to pot with your stories ; am I a child ? 
You couldn't say anything to convince me that good stuff is bad. 
There, now." 

" If I tell you a true story, Mick, will you listen ? " 

" It's all I'll do," was his answer, as in a moody way he stuck 
his hands into his pockets and turned away his face. 

"Well, Mick, I want to show you that good stuff, as you call it, 
can turn a wise man into a fool. Bob Cannon was as fine a man as 
you could meet with in a day's travel— clear-headed and open- 
hearted, like yourself, Mick. He would not see anyone wronged if he 
could help it, or want if he had it to give. And, as for learning, he 
was fit tor the bar. He kept a drug store at one time, and was doing 
well. It was a black day for him when he gave it up for the wine 
importation business. His was a place of trust in the Company, 
you may be sure, and part of his work was testing the liquors. Of 
course this testing was only done " 

" Its myself would like that part of it, tasting the liquor," 
muttered Mike, to himself 

"Testing, Mike, not tasting." 

"Sure, and what's the odds. Brown, it's done by tasting any 
how." 

" Yes," replied Brown, " partly so, partly so. You see, Bob had 
such a keen sense of taste and smell. It was like a gift with him. The 
rest of the Company could depend on him. He could tell whether 
the stuff was adulterated or not, and tell what amount of logwood, 
opium, or other imgredient was in it." 

" I wish you would hurry up," said Mike, impatiently, "and 
tell us what became of the lad." 

"Well, he had left the Company for some time,and a friend had 
him at a quiet country house on the banks of Lake Erie. You liui'ry 
me so, I forgot to tell you that he became a drunken sot. Well, 
some say the really pure brandy will hurt no one, or yet gin, and 
again, they say a drunkai-d can't tell the pure from the adulterated ; 
I believe Bob Cannon could, He would sell the coat off his back, 



46 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



but he would have the best. His thirst for drink consumed the love 
of friends and home." 

" Its a lecture entirely, and not a story at all, sir. I'd sooner 
listen to a French Priest. I used to like a bit of ghost story, now 
and again, that's about all, and man dear, you'r too slow entirely, I 
must go." 

" Wait a bit, Mike, its like a ghost story, any how. It was 
ghostly enough to keep me awake more than once. Kept us from 
working to watching. When we first noticed him wrong he went 
searching about the out-houses, then came into the field, the boss 
had laid his coat on a stump, Cannon looked at it most wickedly, 
then ran back to the house, got hold of a gun loaded with peas to 
shoot squirrels. He got up into a tree and fired at the coat, then 
came running to me. ' Brown, do you see that man ? Well, he 
wants to rob the place. Come ! Sir, we must chase him. He'll not 
leave a potato or turnip in the field.' 'Nonsense,' said I, 'Bob, you 
just walk up to it, and you'll see its just a coat hung on a stump.' 
But not a foot would he go without me. So on we went. Bob taking 
the lead. He touched his forehead in a respectful way, saying ; ' I 
beg your pardon, and I want to know your business. Tell me. 
You must, and you will. You won't, eh ! you audacious rogue, you 
want to steal turnips. Don't you think to fool me, sir. Go from this 
field. Bob Cannon is my name, and I'll not see my master robbed, 
and insulted. None of your grimaces with me, begone !' Then 
whispering to me. 'No, that's no stump. You watch this side, Brown, 
and I'll go round and stick my knife in his throat.' He went, then 
stopped short. ' Hold on. Brown, the villain has a hogshead of rum 
secreted in his pocket,' ' Bob,' I said, for there was no use contra- 
dicting him, ' don't strike just yet. If you do you'll make him run 
away with it. Come into the house to supper,' For a wonder he came, 
but he could eat nothing." 

" Sure, Brown, if ye had got him to take a strong cup of black 
tea, and eat a bite he'd a felt better. ' 

"Perhaps so, Mick, but his stomach was all wrong and his liver 
burnt up. Yes, sir, it was perfectly frightful the way he carried on. 
At night we asked him to take the medicine and go to bed ; but no, I 
must go with him and be his bedfellow. Soon I missed him out of 
the bed, and looking up, there he was creeping round the room like 
a cat after a mouse. Coming to the foot of the bed, he poked his 
head under the clothes, and worked himself up head foremost. Come, 
Bob,' I said, ' can't yon sleep.' ' Sleep,' he repeated- ' Sleep ! sleep ! 
I would give five hundred dollars for one hour's sleep. How can I 
sleep in such a noisy den. Don't you hear them villains out there, 
Brown. Listen to them singing, drunken Bob Cannon, drunken 
Bob Cannon. Brown, you may have my gold watch, chain and 
seals and all, for a glass of pure brandy. Look ! look at the hor- 
rid creatures, with their thin monkey faces, creeping all round and 
spitting fire at me.' At one time, thinking he was asleep, I looked up 
to see if I could get the knife from him, but there was Bob sitting bolt 
up in bed. The horrid knife drawn ready to plunge at some fancied 
imp. ' Be still,' he whispered, 'they're crawling all over the bed,,' 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



47 



Then plunged the knife into the pillow, close to my head. Up I 
started. ' Hold there, Bob, till I get a light.' I ran out, bolted the 
door and got a light. Just then a largo covered carriage drove up 
to the door, and I knew it was for poor Cannon. It was good stuff 
did that Mick ; only too good to use as a beverage, and too powerful 
as a stimulant. 

Mick walked out without saying a word, but soon returned. 
" Have you ever a bible or prayer-book here, or a bit of white paper, 
pen and ink." 

" I'll get some at the house," said Joe. So jumping up off the 
floor, he ran and returned. " Here Mick, be you going to write that 
story on paper?" 

" No, I can't write ; but here. Brown, you write that Michael 
(that's my name) drinks no more. Then you know now that's X 
my mark. Won't me wife be glad," and brushing oif a tear with his 
coat sleeve he hurried out. 



CHAPTEE IX. 

Now, reader, I will trouble you to accompany me over to 
Watertown, or thereabouts. Our station will be a first-class hotel. 
Under one end of the verandah sat some of the boarders talking on 
politics, uf course, while others were sauntering about. Some of 
them were from Canada, some from the interior States, some from 
the mother country, across the salt water. While each party was 
giving in their verdict, the clock in the hall struck eight, and all went 
in for breakfast. Just then a fresh arrival was added to the well- 
filled house. Rev. Mr. Silby and wife took their seats at the table. 
Opposite to them sat two young ladies, whom we will notice in due 
time ; beside them sat the young Fields. At the head of the board 
sat a Mr. Glen — he had been a boarder for some time. Very affable and 
courteous, and also witty in his remarks, was this same Mr. Glen. 
At the foot of the table was a Mr. Joint. He, too, had been there 
long enough to know all the rest, and, like him, he was all attention 
to everybody but himself. The strangers were the first to be served, 
then the others in turn. But though they were the first served they 
were not the first to begin eating. 

" Guess you'r from the old Island," remarked one of them, " but 
you'r in the land of Yankeedom now." 

" I beg your pardon," said Mr. Silby, " but I don't quite under- 
stand you." 

"He means," said Mr. Glen, " that Mr. Egerby gives his board- 
ers license to eat as soon as they like, as mach as they like, and what 
they like." 

" Very good," said Mr. Si loy. "Let us first ask God's bless- 
ing." 

At that all eyes turned towards the strangers, who were now 
the butt of their criticism. The Silbys were too tired to eat very 



48 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



hearty, and so were done first, and waited till the rest were through. 
Then raising his hand he said in a calm voice, Let us thank God 
now." Then all cleared off to their own apartments. 

" Mr. Egerby, a word of caution to you if you please," whispered 
Grlen : " Keep your e^^c on that black coat, he don't mean to pay 
you." 

" What does the fellow say," exclaimed Egerby, as he watched 
the retreating figure of Glen. 

Then young Arthur Grossby came forward with mock gravity, 
saying, " Perhaps 1 can give you the desired information. Our 
friend Glen means that the Eeverend in black don't mean to pay 
you, as he settles all his accounts with invisible coin." 

" How does Glen know that ?" enquired Egerby. 
He saw him — we all saw him, and heard him, too — sending his 
thanks up, nobody knows where, and, of course, it will not be neces- 
sary,' he'll think, to make you any return for the grub. But don't 
you tell my mother I said so, for she might scold me," continued 
Arthur, " or perhaps lay me across her knee, and give me a sound 
thrashing gratis." 

"That's true," said old Joint, coming forward. " Neither of us 
would like to see mamma take her well beloved son to task for 
talking disrespectfully of the clergy, when she remembers her own 
father stood in the pulpit." 

Eeader, does this conversation shock you? Well, it shocked 
me too, but I heard more than I would dare write, and I wonder 
that any parent or guardian could leave sons or daughters in such 
an atmosphere, for certainly Joint and Glen were distilling their 
spirit among the young in that house. Fancy the above conversa- 
tion taking place in a small room at the end of the hall, known as 
the gentleman's smoking room. 

" Hallo, Jerry Field ! you're just in time to hear the amen." 

''Why, what's up?" asked Jerry. 

" Not much replied Arthur. Here's my cigar ; now come boys 
let's try by all possible and impossible means to have this 'ore 
verandah done for to-morrow. Ah ! here you are Glen. It don't 
take you long to brush up. Come, now, let's see what effect 
four of us will have on the man-of-trade. We will both coax and 
threaten. Good day. Carpenter Jackson. 

"That's not my name," replied the carpenter. 

"Well! well! we'll leave off the Jackson, and see here, car- 
penter, we four have come to bind you by a solemn promise to have 
these repairs completed for to-morrow. 

"I will do all I can without binding," replied the carpentei^, 
" but you see its a tedious piece of work, and as I have not tools 
enough here I can't get on as fast as I would like." 

" Are your tools on the vessel," enquired Fred. 

"No," said the man, " I was supplied with tools by the cap- 
tain, for what he wanted done, and I only stay here for a few days. 
But Mr. Egerby failed in getting all that I wanted, still I think I 
will finish it soon." 

" Well see now, Jackson, you have got to have it finished ten 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



49 



to-morrow morning," said Jerry, so you won't object to drive in a 
few nails to-morrow ; will you ? 'Cause you see as some of us 
young chaps want to promenade here with our gals. So can or can't, 
you must have it finished or we will lynch you; see if we don't." 

"Young man," said the workman, "what is not done to- 
night will remain undone till Monday." 

" "What tame talk you use, old boy," said Joint. " Why don't 
you sprinkle in a few oaths ? Jerry's not you're boss. If I was you 
I would curse him for his interference. 

"Cursing and swearing are best dispensed with, I leave that for 
the ignorant," replied the Carpenter. " I see nothing to swear about." 

The Silbys spent most of the day walkinc^ out, 
seeing the place and enjoying the air. The day passed as 
might be expected in such a mixed company. 

In the evening some of them went to a theatre, and, of course, 
did not return till one or two in the morning, disturbing everybody 
with their noise. Indeed, it would seem as if done on purpose, 
because a Christian minister slept under the roof. Nor was it Grien 
and Joint, whose views were Deistical, but Arthur Crossby, Fred 
and Jerry Field. Such a noise they kept up, whispering, slamming 
of doors, and loud talking enough to be heard all over the house. 
Poor chance of rest for the wearied domestics. Well, about eight 
o'clock breakfast was all over, all except the three youths. About 
ten they came down one by one. Now, what chance was there of 
getting to church, either by housekeeper or domestics, after such a 
morning's work ? And yet the parents of those youths were within 
the pale of the visible Church, and considered themselves good 
enough Christians. But, alas ! they were just as anxious that the 
lads should enjoy life, and gain a respectable position in society, as 
that they should be kept from vice. A ])Oor example from those 
professing a belief in God before those who believe not. 

But we must hurry on. As soon as they had swallowed their 
breakfasts they looked to see if the verandah was finished. It 
seemed all right. Under a shade tree stood the carpenter talking 
to Silby, who sat on a rustic seat with a book in his hand. 

" Hallo ! you there," called Arthur. 

" Yes," said the other, coming forward. 

" I say, you are really a most obliging fellow, carpenter Jackson, 
and must have worked both late and early to get this through so 
slick." 

" No," replied the man, " I did not work early, but I did 
hammer away till late last night, and it is not all done yet. How- 
ever, it is secure under foot, and I'll finish it to-morrow morning." 

" Thank you ! thank you !" said all four. 

" A»d now tell me, would you have time to fix the lock and 
hinges on my trunk; and how much would it be ?" asked Glen. 

"I guess we'll all want a little work out of yon if you have 
tools," said Jerry ; " that is, if you don't charge too much." 

"I'll do it; it won't be much. I'll charge a condition each. I 
am going to church now. You are, too, young gentlemen, are you 
not ?" 



50 



N0TiEIIN(> LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



^'JSTo ; I guess not this morning," said Arthur. 
My ma will say or read prayers for me ; and our pa will hear 
sermons enough for us," said Jerry. 

" Yes ; and some of the young lady boarders will sing psalms 
for me," chimed in Fred. 

You're very green, mister, not to know that most of the 
pretty girls were at the theatre last night, and are too tired to 
appear at church this morning. They may in the eveiaing." 
So you go to church to see the ladies, do you ?" 
^' Of course we do," said Arthur. " A pretty thing if the ladies 
go to such trouble fixing up, and nobody go to admire them. 
They'd soon stay away, I reckon." 

Well, Mr. Joint, I dare say you and Glen are like me; out of 

your sparking days ; what if we three " 

"1^0 use," interrupted Fred ; " no use your trying them two ; 
they won't go," 

" Grentlemen," said the carpenter; "do you ever think of the 
future ? Have you no fear of the world to come ?" 

" There's nothing in the future to be afraid of," said Joint. ^' I 
don't believe in a place of punishment." 

" Just let me explain things," put in Crossby. " Our friend 
Joint thinks he is sure of going to heaven, whether he goes to 
church or not, and I am inclined to fiavour his opinion ; that is, that 
everybody will be saved yet. It is a more comfortable faith than 
Glen's. He don't believe he has a soul at all, poor fellow." 

" Is that so," exclaimed the carpenter, in amazement. " I never 
heard such talk before. Why ! don't you believe in the bible ? I am 
sure the minister in the house could convince you. I am a poor 
hand to argue with; but, gentlemen, I do wish you would have a 
talk with Mr. Silby." 

" Tut ! tut !" said Joint, " what about it ? You believe what you 
like, and I believe what I like. I have a better opinion of the 
Almighty than you have. He is a God of love, and our sins neither 
affect nor offend Him at all. You professors think, although God is 
love, still He takes notice of and is angry with men's misdemeanors, 
and punishes them in everlasting fire. And more; you believe that 
all the trials and troubles of this world are His sending. Now, I 
have a higher opinion of God. He has nothing to do with these 
things at all. These trials and sufferings are the natural conse- 
quences of our wrong doing. All the punishment or retribution 
will be in this world. That's my creed — no hell." 

"Why, then," said the carpenter, "did Jesus the Son of God 
die, if there was no sin nor no hell ? " 

"I want to tell you," said Joint, "that Jesus was an impostor. 
Nay, that I will not believe for you nor any man living." » 

"Mr. Joint, if " 

" Say, Carpenter Jack," interrupted Arthur, " have you ever 
seen this Jesus? " 

"Yes, young man, with the eye of faith ; I see him clearer than 
I see you now." 

"Don't get so excited, my good fellow," said Joint; "I, too, 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



51 



believe in a great first cause or creative power at the head of affairs, 
but I don't believe the human and Divine were united. In fact, I 
don't believe in any of those mysterious doctrines, and as for the 
Bible, its only a priestly affair, got up to make money. We had 
a proof of that this morning, Glen, hadn't we? " 

" Yes, Joint, I endorse what you say ; but, still, in my heart I 
say there is no God at the head of affairs. All is by chance. I have 
good reason for saying so." 

" Wonderful ! wonderful ! " said the carpenter. 
Aha ! aha! ain't it though," returned Arthur. 
Wonderful ! wonderful !" exclaimed the man. I have lived 
nearly forty years in the faith of the bible, and — " 

"And wonderful to relate," interrupted Jerry, your faith is 
kicked overboard by two Y:inkees at last." 

" Not at alJ, young man. My faith is not so easy to kick over- 
board. Your friend, Mr. Glen, here, has furnished me with additional 
proof of the veracity of the Bible. Have none of you noticed it, 
gentlemen ? Though written centuries ago, it foretells about you. 
Yes, Mr. Glen, it describes you minutely. Then (in a warning tone) 
you must beware of him, young men. Why, this is King David's 
fool; you will find him mentioned in the fourteenth Psalm, firtt 
verse; and if you incline to follow him, your fate is mentioned 
Proverbs, 13th and 20th verse : ' A companion of fools shall be 
destroyed.' " 

"There is nothing said in the Bible about us small-fry, ib there," 
said Jerry. ''A little fast, you know — like to enjoy life, and all 
that sort of thing." 

"Oh, yes," was the answer. " Yoii are n©t forgotten. You arc 
particularly addressed in the eleventh chapter of Ecclesiastes, ninth 
verse." 

" No doubt you find something good about yourself, Mr. Jack- 
son," said Fred Fields, "though you are not a perfect maa, either, 
since you are both blind and lame." 

**Hold! there," interposed both Joint and Glen; "don't he too 
fast nor hard on him, boys ; he can't help being blind and lame. 

" These," he replied, " have never stood much in my way. I 
read in my Bible that all things work together for good to them that 
love God." 

" Yes," said Ai'thur, in a quizzing tone. " Can you say right out, 
without blushing, that you love God ?" 

" Gentlemen, I am not ashamed to say I love God, and what I 
glory in most, that he loves me." 

" Well ! well ! it's the first time in all my life, that I have heard 
such a confession," exclaimed Arthur. 

" Shouldn't wonder if you are right, after all, and that we arc 
all wrong, eh, Arthur Crossby ? " whined Jerry. 

" To tell the truth," said Arthur, " the word love has always 
seemed to be associated wiih something weak or feminine." 

" I am sorry for you, Arthur," said the other, "for so long as 
that is your opinion, you will be proof against receiving the love of 
God." 



52 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



" I think if I were in your company for a few years, I Would 
imbibe your spirit, and feel like you," said Arthur. 

"You would like to get into his shoes," said Glen, "if there's 
a world to come, eh ? " 

" I should not wonder, Grlen, but you would like to change places 
with him yourself, all but the blind eye." 

" I would rather enter heaven with one eye and lame, than 
have all, and go to hell," said the carpenter. 

" Hear ! hear ! we'll all have the blues after such a sermon. So 
now, Carpenter Jackson, you can go to meeting and hear one for 
yourself. I hope it will be as personal, too. Fifteen minutes to 
eleven, and there is brother Silby on the street." 



CHAPTER X. 

The carpenter went on, and the young men tired of waiting for 
the ladies to come out, as usual, at length turned into the house, 
where they met the landlord. " Mr. Egerby, we would like to have 
the carpenter dine with us to-day, you always have something tip- 
top on Sundays, and charge to our account." 

" All right, gentlemen," said Egerby, " and no charge at all. 
The chap must have a decent dinner any-way." 

" Oh ! won't wc have rare sport out of such a greeny," they 
whispered to each other as they passed through the hall. 

Then Glen and .Joint asked Mrs. Egerby to set a table for the 
clergy party by themselves. " For," said Glen, " they are too sancti- 
monious and grave for us, and we are too fast and jolly for them." 

" Just so," said the good-natured dame, as she went to give the 
orders. 

At the end of the house, where Glen, Joint and the three youths 
had met, a pile of new boards lay up against the house. Some sat 
upon and some stood leaning against these boards while they carried 
on the discussion already recorded. 

In a small sitting-room upstairs (where, through an open win- 
dow every word could be heard) are two young ladies, Clara and 
Annie Lee. Their parents were dead, and an uncle and aunt, having 
no children of their own, took the girls to their homes and hearts. 
But, as they had occasion to cross the sea, shut up their house, so 
their nieces were boarders here, partly for a change and partly for 
convenience. They sat this morning one at each side of a small 
table, at an open window, with clasped hands, swaying themselves 
as only women can do, when shocked or grieved. 

" I wonder if the Silbys could tell us whether there is, or is 
not ? Let us ask them as soon as they come from church. Indeed, 
I have a mind to talk to these gentlemen at dinner myself." 

" No, Annie, don't say a word about it. It will only bring on 
an argument, and excitement is bad for you." 

Dear me, that attorney is so — I don't know what to call him, 
he ought to be ashamed of himself to talk so, and he the oldest." 



Nothing like black on white. 



53 



"It would do no good you trying to reason with them, they are 
too sharp, Annie. We will take our dinner as quiet as possible and 
come up again." 

" Yery well ; let us go and fix up, Clara, for we have trifled all 
the morning. I'll shut this window, and you put the tracts in your 
pocket. What's that one about." 

" It is ' All things work together for good.' " 

" My ! that's just like something that man said to Fred." 

" Indeed, Annie, I think all things are working together for bad 
rather. It was so unfortunate that we came to this open window 
when we did " 

Just at this the gong sounded, and they went down to dinner. 
Mr. Egerby stood by the dining-room door, seeing that all found 
their places. "Mr. Silby," said he, as that party was entering, 
" there is a small table at one side, if you please, for you. Perhaps 
you would like to be by yourselves." 

I am much obliged to you, indeed," said Silby, and passed on. 

The carpenter, who, till now, had eaten in the kitchen, was, to 
his surprise, ushered into the dining-room. As he took his seat he 
looked with astonishment at the well-furnished table. It maybe he 
never sat at the like before, for even the neatly-folded table-nap- 
kins did not escape his eye. 

"Why, what's that ?" whispered Fred to him across the table. 
" A lady's pocket handkerchief, eh !" 

" Most likely it is," said the carpenter. " They seem to be all 
round the table too." 

"That's one of Mr. Egerby's," said Jerry. 

" There's Egerby's on the corner. Be careful and don't soil it, 
Jackson. But what do you suppose she put them down for ?" 

" Oh, let them settle that themselves, and there's no fear of me 
soiling it." And he removed it to a safe distance from his plate. 

After the ladies were served, G-len tapped him on the shoulder. 
"We want your assistance to CDnsume this turkey, or do you prefer 
trying some fish chowder." 

" Anything you please," said he. 

"Perhaps," suggested young Field, in a mocking tone, "he 
would like a little grace first." 

" Oh !" said Jerry, " if he had been here all yesterday, he would 
have had enough to do him for a week, I guess." 

"Boys," said Mr. Field, " I am sorry to say that your manners 
are not what they ought to be. Have some self-respect, at least, if 
you have none for others." 

"Lei ^ach one be their own dictators in religious matters. In 
my young days, I was used to it," said Mrs. Crosby, "And I do 
think that grace before meals is a good thing, that is in private 
families. But, of course, it is dispensed with in boarding-houses 
and hotels." 

" Is that so !" exclaimed the carpenter. 

All were eating hearty, and the table was growing lighter. 
When Arthur whispered " just leave room for the dessert. 
4 



54 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



" And now what will you have to drink," enquired G-len. " We 
have the real stuff in Egerby'.s houf-e ; ju&t as good as you can get 
in Canada. Come, Jackson, try gome. J^othing to pay for, your 
fish must have a swim, too, 

1 thank you all the seme, Mr. Glen, but I'll take water. I 
never take liquor." 

" I guess you belong to some society, eh, Mr. Carpenter?" 

" I don't know what you mean, Mr. Joint." 

" I mean that this decanter is in the programme. Come, my 
good fellow, try a drop, unless you belong to the Cold Water 
Club.'' 

" No ; I belong to no Societ}^, but liquor makes me sick ; I dare 
not take it." « 

"Poor fellow," exclaimed Jerry, "is that so? How I pity 
you !" 

They chatted away for a few minutes, then the carpenter, re- 
collecting himself, said, " Gentlemen, I beg your pardon for keeping 
the dish of chowder close to me all the time. Perhaps you, at that 
end of the table, would like some, it's very nice." 

" No. no !" was the answer. " Nothing but bacon for this end of 
the table, and that's why we take something to drink besides 
water. 

"Do take some,'' said the carpenter, " I n 3ver tasted any so 
good. I know you would like it." 

" Just keep it there," was the answer. " Don'*; want the smell of 
it at this end of the table; it would sicken me. Wouldn't give this 
nice roast bacon for all the fish in the sea. If you, carpenter, had 
taken this instead of chowder, you would'nt need to drink water 
alone clear, of course ; fish must swim, dead or alive." 

",Well, you're aDout right," he replied. " I remember my 
father saying that you couldn't ofi'end a pig worse than by giving 
it clear cold Avater. So it may be tliat you bek ng to that Society 
without knowing it." 

" Not so gi*een after all," whispered Arthur to Jerry. " We're 
taken down a peg." 

"Well, ladies, your not doing much with the dinner to-day," 
said Mrs. Crossby. " I hope you are well." 

" Yes ; pretty well, thank you," replied Clara. 

" Well, that's more than I can say," laughed Arthur. " I 
missed yon sadly all mcirning, Clara ; those two Fields picked at mc 
I ike two hens. If ^'ou had been there you would have saved me. I know 
you would. Oh ! oh ! just wait till I finish my pudding, and I'll tell 
who the hens were, and who they were pecking at, too," said Jerry. 
" Won't I Annie?" 

Please excuse us now,"' said the girls to Mrs. Crossby, as they 
both slipped away up to their own room, and shut the door. 

" Annie, I do wish we had a table to ourselves. Or, perhaps, the 
Silby's would let us eat with them next week." 

"I don't know, Clara, but somehow I would like to have a talk 
with them. They certainly ought to know more than us. I think 
Glen will shew us that book he has." 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



55 



" Annie, I'd nitbcr hear Mr. Silb^^ a explanation, and I mean to 
ask him, even if we do show our ignorance. What did Glen call the 
book?" 

''I don't know, Clara, but he said it proved all Christians in 
error and all religion a delusion. I'll get all our books out of the 
trunk, and look through them, rather than get Glen's." 

" Annie, we might go to church with the Silbys ? It would 
give us an opportunity to talk to them about things. But, really, I 
don't know what he is after all, though we met at Portland once. I 
wonder ministers don't talk more about God, when the^^ are around 
that way, and tell about the future. Oh, dear, I feel as if I never 
could think the same of Arthur Crossby after this morning." 

" I am sorry," said Annie, " for I am sure aunt would never 
let me have anything to do with Jerry Field if she heard hira. I 
am giad they were not present at the time ; the young man handed 
me the tracts, though, in the morning " 



CHAPTEE XL 

But you were not, either, reader, so we will repeat the morn- 
ing incident, which caused the girls so much annoyance. They had 
risen from the breakfast table, and were passing through the hall, 
when a young man handed in a lot of tracts, saying, For the 
boarders, please." Annie took them, and turned back into the 
dining-room. She was about to keep one, and lay the others on the 
table, when Glen, who was standing by, said : 

" Oh ! these are the programmes or advertisements for the new 
play, I reckon ?" 

No," said Annie, " they are tracts for the boarders. Won't 
you take one ?" 

" Let me see," said Glen. "What are they about? 'Believe 
in God.' 'Where are you bound for.' 'All things work together 
for good.' I beg your pardon, Miss Lee," said Glen," " but as I 
don't believe there is a God, there is no use for me to read those 
tracts. They would do to light my pipe, or put my lunch in. In- 
deed, its only the fanatic or weak-minded that get these printed and 
circulated. The fact is, I can always get enough of the seen to 
interest me without hunting up the unseen — what never was, arid 
never will be." 

"And is it possible," exclaimed Mrs. Crossby, " that you are 
an unbeliever, sir?" 

"Madam," Avas the answei-, " I wish I had ground or foundation 
to believe. But I see virtue goes unrewarded, vice unpunishcvl ; in 
fact, the whole creation a jumbled up mass ; good and evil so 
unevenly divided. How can I believe that there is a great ruling 
power of equity and Justice at the head of affairs ? And I tell you, 
my good woman, that very few of you professing Christians believe 
this any more than I do. Then, leaning towards her and lowei-ing 
his voice, he continued, in a confidential tore, and you, Mrs. Crossby, 
don't believe there is an endless state of bliss or woe, or that, that-— 

4i 



56 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



" You seem at a loss for words, Mr. Glen," said the lady, " but 
I can assure you, I do believe that there is both a Heaven and a 
bell." 

"Then," said he, "I beg your pardon, but to which of these 
places are you bound ?" 

" 1 do not know," was the answer, " but I hope to be saved." 

" You do not know," said Glen, " and you take it very cool, 
too, madam. "When I was a lad I associated with a family of free 
thinkers, and soon became one myself. I have watched carefully 
since, to see if Christians lived up to what they professed ; but in- 
stead of lhat, I have found them just as careless, and as greedy for 
gain, as if there was no greater good for them. If I had observed 
them exhibiting a Godly spirit, and living consistently, I don't say 
but I would have joined them. If you like, I will lend you my book. 
It proves all Christians in error, and all religion a delusion." 

" No, thank you," said Mrs. Crossby ; and as she walked away 
she muttered to herself, " I wonder what Silby would say to this. 
Pity they didn't hear it," and, somewhat humbled, she walked away 
to her own room." 

The Misses Lee had, with some tracts in their hands, already 
■ betaken themselves to their quiet room. It was two hours after 
this, that they sat by their open window and overheard the conver- 
sation of the six gentlemen by the pile of boards, whirh we recorded 
a few pages back ; and can we wonder that they made so short a 
stay at the dinner table that day ? Tell me, reader, do you wonder 
that those young ladies should be roused to anxiety by the deistical 
expressions they heard? 

Eemember, God can bring good out of evil. Who, but Omni- 
potence could do so? Jesus opened the eyes of the blind mm with 
clay mixed with spittle : a very unlikely thing, one would think. 
But the Lord is Sovereign in His choice of means, and who will dic- 
tate to Him ? Surely Satan's kingdom is div ided against itself; 
and so surely will it come to naught. 

" Yes; Annie," said Clara. " Somehow I like these tract socie- 
ties. Couldn't we contribute a little to it? Annie, dear, a blest ing 
might follow us for doing so. But, oh ! What if there is no God." 

Just at this moment they were startled by a tap at their door. 
It was Mrs. Silby. 

" Good afternoon, girls," said she. "I noticed you looking dull 
to-da}^ and so made bold to come and see you." 

• " Thank you ; thank you, kindly," they returned. " Please be 
seated, ma'm." 

Were you to the meeting this morning, girls ? " 

•'No ma'm ; though, perhaps, it would have been better for us 
if we had gone." 

" Ah ! " said the lady, "I hope it was not indifference kept you." 
No," said Clara, " not altogether ; but we did not sleep well 
last night, and so did not feel like going out this morning." 

I understand you, dears, and can sympathize with you. That 
man did make a noise for a while, on the verandah, hammering ; 
but that was nothing to the noise the others made, when they 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



61 



returoed from the theatre. Why, from one o'clock till near three ; 
such a din ! My poor husband thought they were just acting the 
whole play over again. Everyone in the house must have been 
waked up. Do they often go to the theatre ? " 

" Oh, yes, ma'am ; they usually go once or twice a week, and 
particularly on Saturday evenings." 

" And do you sometimes go, girls ? " 

" No, ma'am ; our uncle charged us not to go to any kind of plays 
till they returned from England." 

" Well, are you going to church to-night ? " 

"Yes, ma'm," said Annie; "we are thinking of going to-night." 

Just then a little messenger came to say that if the girls were 
not too tired, or otherwise engaged, Arthur and Jerry would like 
them to come for a walk. 

" No," said Clara; "not this evening. Tell them we have 
another engagement." 

" I want to look at a book," said the little fellow. 

" Well, you can; come up again." said Annie, "and ill lend 
you one full of pictures." 

"Do any of the boarders go to church with you?" enquired the 

lady. 

"' No," said Clara ; " we are going alone." 

" But, my dears," expostulated the lady, " it is neither safe nor 
prudent for you to go alone. Had you not better come with us, and 
then we will be together coming home. But first tell me what 
church you go to ? " 

" We have gone to no church yet, ma'am. We have only been 
here three or four weeks." 

" Dear, girls ! all that time, and been to no place of worship yet ; 
how is that ?" 

" We never thought much of it before," said Clara. 

" And how did you think of it now," said the Christian lady. 

" Please, Mrs. Silby, we have reason for doing so. We both 
wish we had gone this morning, for, hadwegone,we would not have 
had to listen to what we did this morning ; but that is past. We will 
go with you this evening." 

"Very well, girls, and I hope you will sleep better to-night. 
The bible says, ' He giveth His beloved sleep.' Ask him for it girls. 
It was want of sleep, in a king, that saved a nation once. For the 
great God can make all things work together for good to you, and 
His own irlory. And remember, dears, that these Sabbath days are 
golden opportunities for doing and receiving good." 

" If you please," said Clara, ''could you lend us a bible concord- 
ance." 

" Certainly," replied the lady, as she went to fetch it. 

She returned in a few minutes with it, and gave it to them. 
Then, as she turned to go away again, she laughed pleasantly, say- 
in^r: 

" We Americans don't always wait for a formal introduction, so 
I hope you will take the hint, and just make as free with me. My 



58 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



husband will be pleased to lend you books, or converse with you 
either. I hope you will find what you desire in the concordance. 
Good bye for the present.'" 

Say, lady, won't vou let me look at it, too ?" 
Why! Why ! Who are you ? ' said Mrs. Silby. " I had nearly 
stumbled over you, you poor child, and what can you want with a 
concordance ? A picture book would suit you a deal better." 

"I have asked so many, ' said the child, still lingering. 
"Woman, does that book tell everything."' 

" No, ray little man, but it tells a great deal." 

''My mamma says everything was invented by somebody, and 
their names are in books, and the names of the things they invented, 
too." 

" Does she. Bub ? Well, I hope you will invent something when 
you grow up." 

" I mean to invent doing without something," said the child, 
" so soon as I'm a man, and I wish I was a man now, so I do." And 
the little fellow straightened up his back, as though he could hasten 
his growth. 

" Tell me what you want to find out, my little man, and perhaps 
I can help you.'' And Mrs. Silby led him towards her own door. 

I do want to see the man s name that invented gads, and 
whips, and spurs, and if you show me the very man's name, missis, 
I'll give you my bright dollar." 

" But," inquired the lady, " what would you do with the name if 
I showed it to you." 

" I would spit on it, and scratch it out with my nails, I would, 
and put it under my heel, too, and stamp on it in the dirt." 

•'But, haven't you got a pony. Bub? And haven't you got a 
whip, too, to drive him with ?'' 

"Yes, I have a small pony, and a little whip, too, to drive 
him; but, oh. I wouldn't whip him, I never slash him. But, when 
I crack my whip or whistle he will come right up to me, and, if 
I am driving out. he'll straighten up his ears when he hears me snap 
or whittle." 

'•Then, Bub, whips ai-e a good thing after all." 

" No, indeed," was the answer. "I hate them any way, I hate 
pony's slashed with them. Missis, if you saw the lad that brings the 
groceries. How he does slash his horse. If he stands still he slashes 
him, and if he moves he slashes him. If he runs he gets slashed, and 
if the poor beast goe- slow the lad slashes him all the same. If I 
was that horse I wp-i^" an away sure." 

" Well. Bub, I -A-'rh all men and boys could feel something like 
you. But most of men and boys act as if horses had no sense of 
feeling, and yet they pretend to think so much of them. Bat what 
have you against spars? Yerv few use tbem. Do you hate them 
too?" 

" Yes ; I hate them. 1 saw a gentleman spur a horse until it 
bled. I hate them." 

" Well, my boy, what about gads ? What are they ? 

" Oh ! they are long stout rods that are used to slash oxen and 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



59 



cows with. Our Lucky keeps one in the cow-house to slash bossy 
with ; and sometimes when the flies are stinging her all over, and 
bossy stamps to frighten them away, then won't Lucky sla,~h her 
with the gad. I wish God would make the flies leave bossy, and 
sting Lucky, while she was milking, then poor bossy could be quiet, 
and Lucky Smith would find out what makes cow bossy so restless. 
There, I hear mj^ papa asking for me. I'll come up again." 

" That's right, child ; obey your parents. Shouldn't wonder, if 
bye and-bye you should be president, Bub." 

" No, ma'am; not President Bub, President Egerby." 



CHAPTER XIL 

Now, my dear reader, we have dismissed young Egerby, and 
will now return tu the Misses Lee, as they sit by a little table, on 
which lie a few tracts, some good booKS, a bible, and a concordance. 

" Now Annie, you take the bible, and I will turn up the number 
of chapter and verse in the concordance. Dear me, we read 
the bible so often, we might have had it oif by heart. Yet I can't 
now tell where to find a thing in it." 

Yes, Clara ; but we were not in earnest then. Now we are. 
' All things work together for good.' Find that verse, we heard it 
over the window. Then we saw it in the tract, and now that lady 
repeated it. Now, find out 'He gaveth His beloved sleep.' But, 
Clara, what do you think of that queer remark of hers? To ask 
God for sleep." 

" I don't know, Annie, it seems a small thing to pray for. God 
is so great for us to use such homely language. I think such prayers 
would be unworthy of him. Oh ! Annie, if we get our souls saved 
it will be quite enough." 

Well, we'll want to find proof of the existence of a Supreme 
being, or tlie immortality of the soul. We will take the old Testament 
first." 

For a long hour they searched together. 

" Well, Clara, there is a great deal that would prove the 
existence of God in the old Testament, language awfully grand, but 
really there is little to prove the immortality of the soul. People 
seemed to think more of their property than they do now." 

" Yes, Annie, that's true ; they seemed to have no idea of the 
future state, nor yet of the resurrection of their bodies. It always 
appears to me they thought more of their great conquests by the 
sword than they did of glory. They thought a deal too of a long 
line of successors, also of a long prosperous life; but I do wonder 
there wasn't more said about the soul. Perhaps they didn't know." 

" Here, Clara, is a passage that will, perhaps, help us. David 
when told that his son was dead, said : ' I shall go to him, but he 
shall not return to me.' " 

" Well ! I don't know, Annie, I think it was just a saying, or a 
Jewish phrase, iriLendcd to convey the idea that no more could be 
done for the child, and that the child could no more act in the affairs 



60 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



of life or of the world. He was dead, and David too would die. 
However, il may be that the king was then thinking of, and refer- 
ring to the state be3"ond death, or, it may be, that we do not understand 
the language of the old Testament" 

" Do you know, Clara, when I was a little girl, I used to think 
perhaps women and girls had no soul." 

" Why did you think so, Annie ? *' 

" Because, in the bible, it is always he, him and his." 

" Ah ! well," replied Clara, " I suppose everybody has their 
own original ideas, when they are young, which might go to prove 
our soul's reality. I had my own thoughts, too, when I was a slip of 
a girl." 

" A very dear friend of mine was talking to me one day about 
our obligations to God. She said ' God's law was just and holy, and 
everyone in the world was bound to obey every command in that 
law. That all the disobedient would go to hell, and that hell was a 
horrible place. The bible said its fires would never be quenched.' 
* Ah !' said I, * it ain't true anyway ; nobody believes it.' ' Yes,' said 
my friend, ' it is true, child; none dare deny it; and everyone has 
a conscience within them warning them not to sin, and urging them 
to do what is right.' ' What,' said T, ' men and women too ?' ' Yes,' 
she replied, * men and women too. Eepent and pray and love one 
another. So think more of God and turn from sin.' I remember 
looking round at her and saying : ' And lohy don't they V " 

Yes,'* said Annie, " I was at Farmer Jones for a few weeks, 
and one day we young folks were all out over the rocks gathering 
nuts. I ran on ahead of the rest, looking for a good tree ; when I 
gave a start, and stood staring at a great long snake-like root 
stretched away over the rocky surface of the ground : it looked so 
life-like. Cousin Lena came to me, and I silently pointed to the 
ground. She looked, then took my hand and led me away, saying 
in a serious tone, 'Annie, that is a spirit. Keep quiet; don't step 
on the rock ; spirits know our thoughts ; come away.' Well, Clara, 
do you know? I never see a greal gnarled root but that scene is 
present to my mind. However, Lena did not say whether it was a 
good spirit or a bad one." 

" So much for early influences, Annie ; but this will never do. 
We must hurry and look through the New Testament. Look for 
that place where it is said 'It is better to enter heaven blind and 
lame.'" 

Yes ; Ml*. Jackson Carpenter repeated that verse this morning, 
Clara." 

" Jackson Carpenter is not his name. Why do you call him 
that ?" 

" I thought it was," replied Annie. 

*'No; it is a way they have here; all tradesmen are called 
Jackson*. You'll hear them say Blacksmith Jackson, Shoemaker 
Jackson, Tailor Jackson and Carpenter Jackson. They know his 
name well enough, and I think he is a good man that, though he is 
neither learned nor pretty ; he seems so contented and good-natured. 
Now, turn to the second chapter and seventh verse of Komans. 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



61 



Then 2d Corinthians fourth chapter and three last verses. Now, the 
next chapter; is not this beautiful, Annie, where it tells of the 
future plainly. I like the New Testament better than the Old, there 
are so many bloody wars and sacrifices in the Old Testament, and 
yet they say the New Testament is incomplete without the Old. 
Here is a nice verse : — ' G-od is a Spirit, and those that worship Him 
must worship Him in spirit and in truth !' Clara, I think the first 
chapter of John is a very instructive one; but, perhaps, we have 
been wrong in wandering about through the bible so. We would 
do better to read one chapter, don't you think so ?" 

"Yes, Annie; I think that would be a good plan, to read a 
portion every day, commencing at the beginning, and we will both 
learn by heart any remarkable passage." 

" Yes, we will do so, and help one another all we can. Oh ! 
Clara, I wonder grown-up people don't talk more about their souls." 

" Oh ! I wish I were a real Christian, so I do. I mean to ask 
Mi'S. Silby if she is sure of going to Heaven when she dies, and if 
she thinks it possible for me to get there too." 

" Hold your tongue, Annie ; don't you mind what auntie said, 
* That it was very presumptous and daring for one to say they were 
sure. She said that people who had lived very strict lives, and did not 
sin for a long time, could say so before they died ; but such cases 
were very scarce, and, besides, she said it was not necessary for us 
to know when our hearts were changed or if our sins were forgiven. 
Sui h a confident feeling was apt to make people proud and 
careless.' " 

" Clara, is Mrs. Silby proud ? Aunty might not be right in say- 
ing that. Indeed, 1 know she was not right in a great many things 
she said." 

" Annie ! Annie ! don't talk so. Aunty had great reverence for 
Divine things." 

I know it, Clara ; Aunty had too much reverence." 
" Annie ! you astonish me ; to say that Aunty had too much 
reverence. What do you mean ? " 

I mean — Oh ! there's the tea bell. Come, come on down, 
Clara." 

As the young men had been out for a long walk, they did not 
make their appearance with the others at tea, and so the meal 
passed off very quietly. 

The girls, on returning to their room, resumed their conver- 
sation : 

" Annie, what were you going to say about Aunty ?" 
''Why, Clara ? Did I frighten you, or vex you? I did not 
7nean to. 

" No, Annie ; but I don't like to hear you say a word against 
our dear Aunty. What would we have done if it had not been for 
licr? Just you think of last year. First I took sick with the'meas- 
les; then you. before I was well and strong enough to take care of 
myself. For days I was not expected to live, and Aunty was our 
constant nurse." 

" But, Clara ; if you had died ? " 



62 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



" If I had, Annie, it would not have been her fault." 

" I don't say it would, dear sister — but did she talk to you of the 
next world — about God ? Or did she ask you about your soul. 

"No, Annie; but it was just care for me that made her not do 
it. For fear it would hinder my recovery, she would not say or do 
anything that would excite me." 

"Well, well, Clara; that's oneway of showing love. That 
might be expected among the heathen. But still, as 1 was going to 
say, it seemed a kind of veneration, as far as talking goes, for you 
know yourself, as well as I do. that religion is a forbidden subject at 
home. 

" Oh ! Annie, don't get so excited." 

''It is true, Clara; and it was just for fear we would talk in too 
familiar a way — at least I think so. I remember asking uncle and 
aunty something about the Sacrament and the Saviour, but I was 
stopped in a moment with : ' Hush, child, don't ask questions — you 
shouldn't talk about things you know nothing about.' " 

" Ah ! Clara, Clara, why can't reli2:ion be talked about, as well 
as prayed about. Why is it made such a bug-bear of? " 

" Annie, darling, what you say is true, and our uncle did have 
such wonderful prayers. Oh! if he had only lived according to 
those prayers after he had done praying. Now, we had better get 
ready for church in good time." 

" Yes ; and Clara, mind you, I am going to speak to Mrs. Silby 
the first chance." 

" I think, Annie, you might wait till you are better ac- 
quainted." 

" And when will that be? " 
Just when you and I have exchanged speeches," said a voice 
behind them. 

The girls turned round, and there stood Mrs. Silby. 

" I beg your pardon, girls, but your door was ajar, and I stepped 
in to say that service would commence at half past six, so we will 
be going soon. I am not sure whether it will be my husband or 
Mr. Owen who will preach. So, now, Miss Annie, if you want to 
speak to Mrs. Siiby, now is your chance, only don't be too hard 
on me." 

At this the sisters exchanged glances ; then Annie, in a firm 
voice, said : 

" Are you a Christian, Mrs. Silby ?" 

"Yes," said the lady, " I believe in Christ and trust in Him for 
salvation." 

" I am glad you understand me ; and tell me, are you quite sui-e 
of going to heaven when you die ? " 

"■ Perhaps, dear girl, my answer would be clearer if [said Jesus 
died for me, and by His Holy Spirit takers hold of me, applies to my 
soul the benefit of His death, and thus fitting me for Heaven." 

" And have you nothing to do for yourself at all? " said Annie. 

" My dear girl, I have work to do that no other can do for me. 
work that even God does not do for me,with reverence be it spoken." 

" How is that, ma'am? " 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



63 



My corrupt nature still leads me into evil. Grod does not sub- 
due it. No ; he gives me grace to do it. The world or the devil 
tempts me. God does not resist the tempter. He gives me strength 
to do it. You see, girls, God honours us by making us fellow- 
workers with himself. Still, in this department, Christians only 
work for themselves. But there are other departments in 
which Christians work ; one is bringing others into the fold of 
Christ. That is a good and noble work. The believer gathering in 
the Lord's revenue. Angels cannot work in a higher calling, But, 
come, girls, we will be going. Mr. Selby is away before us, and we 
can talk on the way." 

" I think," said Clara, T know what you mean by the Lord's 
revenue. It is to collect money for the missionaries, is it not ? " 

No ; I didn't mean that," replied Mrs. Selby. " The revenue 
I speak of is God's declarative glory. You both have seen the little 
bee gathering honey from all sorts of flowers-— yes, even from the 
dirty door-yard — and take it to the hive. Even so will the believer 
in everything around see cause of praise to God. Every object in 
the world will be a subject that will help to sound his praise. Thus 
we gather, sometimes, in silent contemplation; sometimes in speak- 
ing to others of God's attributes and glorious perfections ; sometimes 
in songs of praise. Yes ; anyway and every way. This the Chris- 
tian gathers. God takes a deep interest in my welfare, and I have 
His interest at heart." 

Oh ! ma'm, I would give all the world if it were mine ; to feel 
like you do. Oh ! I would ! I would ! give all." 

"If you had it would not be accepted," said Mrs. Silby. "The 
Gospel is preached to the poor. God does not sell His gifts. Salva- 
tion is free. Christ paid a high price for it. Now it is free. Do 
not doubt it. He is an all sufficient Saviour. God is love.' ' 

" Dear me," said Clara ; " it was only this morning that we were 
tempted to believe there was no God ; no heaven; no hell, and that 
Chi^ifit was an " • 

" I know it, dears ; I know it," was the reply ; " and I know, 
too, who were your tempters. Don't forget to thank God for mak- 
ing a way by which you escaped that terrible temptation." 

" Oh ! Mrs. Silby," said Clara, I fear these three young gentle- 
men will be ruined. They are so much in the company of Glen and 
Joint. I wish you or Mr. Silby could do something for them." 

"It is a great pity," said the lady; " and what's more, neither 
Mr. Field nor Mr. Crosby seem the least caring or anxious about 
them; and they are just at the age when the character or principles 
are formed in the soul. Six or seven years after this they would not 
be so easily influenced. I am afraid they are on the downward 
road ; hut we can pray for them. My husband remarked to a friend 
the other da)^, that he feared we were pressing through the crowd 
of heathen at our door, in order to reach with our prayers, our 
entreaties, our money, the far-off heathen, and I fear that is ti-ue." 

" r will talk to them every opportunity," said Clara. 

" No; my dear 1 would advise you first to make sure of your 
own salvation, tlien your influence might do some good." 



64 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

The next day Clara, with the Concordance in her hand, tap- 
ped at the door, saying, " Here is the book we had, and thank you." 

"Just wait a minute, Miss Lee, would you like a talk with my 
husband, a little friendly chat." 

"I hope you are well," said Mr. Silby, rising and taking her 
hand in a kindly manner. 

" Yery well, I thank you." 

" How did you enjoy the service last evening ?" he asked. 

" Oh ! sir, I never heard such a sermon before, I wish I cculd 
always remember it." 

" Do you remember the leading points ? What were they ?" 

" Yes ; it was God's goodnes? and claims upon us, and our obli- 
gations to God. Then he spoke very earnestly on the necessity of 
repentance." 

" I am glad you listened so earnestly. Miss Lee, for Mr. Owen 
is a very sincere preacher, and I hope you will profit by what he 
said." 

'^Oh! I don't know, sir, my heart is very callous. I wish I 
could repent and believe. My sister is very uneasy about her soul 
too." 

" What makes you so uneasy ? You have, both of you, lived a 
good virtuous life. You say you wish you could repent, but what 
have you to repent of?" 

Sir ! we have done nothing very notorious, but we have been 
very vain, careless and worldly, and thought so little of anything 
good. We seldom read our bibles except for pastime, and never 
went to church only for some foolish end. Oh ! no sir, we have not 
lived as we ought to have done," 

" 'J hen you think you would not like to live that way over 
again. You wish you could live like a child of God, do you ?" 

" I do," replied Clara, " I do." 

" But what wrong have you done. Miss ?" 

" Oh ! sir, 1 did not expect you would make so little of sin." 

" Just bear with me. Miss Lee. Do you mean to say that you 
are sorry for having lived so worldly and vain ? And you really 
wish you could truly repent and live better." 

" Yes ; I am sorry for the past. Many a thing I did that I wish 
I could undo. But it is too late now. Oh ! if I only knew how to 
repent and believe. But everything seems so dark and entangled 
somehow. Ah ! you are smiling at my weakness, as you will call it." 

'Not at all, my dear friend, but the very opposite of weakness, 
for I am glad to see that you are exercising the grace of repentance, 
for repentance you must know is just a change of mind, a turning 
from something you used to like and sincerely desiring something 
you didn't like before; yes, the blessed Spirit is leading you to the 
Saviour. vSee that you yield to Him. The bible says, ' if any one 
draw back my soul shall have no pleasure in him.' " 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



65 



" Oh ! sir," said Clara, I fear your opinion of me is too favorable 
to be true. Oh ! if we could only feel more." 

" Then," said Mr. Silby, " come without feeling, feeling is not 
faith. Just think a moment, my dear girl, the spirit may be even 
now erecting a throne for the Saviour in your heatrt. See that you 
do not pull it down. See that you do not undervalue the work of 
the spirit. Come to Christ. He is exalted to give you repentance. 
He will wash away your sins. Do you understand me ?" 

" Yes, sir ; but oh ! if He did forgive me and wash away my 
sins, I could not keep from sinning a single day." 

" That," replied Mr. Silby, " will ever be a cause of humility. 
But, just think, He cannot keep from forgiving not a single day, and 
remember, as grace increases sin will decrease. Christ was crucified 
for you, you must crucify your lusts and your passions. I have been 
asked to make a sick call, and will have to leave you this morning. 
I will be happy to resume our conversation some other time. Good 
morning." So the minister taking his hat walked out while Clara 
returned to her own room. 

" Why, Clara," said Annie, " what a time you stayed. I have 
been turning over the leaves of the bible ever since you left, and just 
listen to verses I found, and no concordance. I'll read them. ' And 
God breathed into man the breath of life (breath of God) and man 
became a living soul.' And here is another : ' For in Him we live, 
move, and have oar being. We are also his offspring.' So you see 
that points to the origin of the soul. Here is another : * Then 
shall the body return to the dust, and the spirit to he who gave it.' 
It may be that long ago people did not understand that truth as well 
as they do now. Here is another that explains why : ^Because 
Christ brought light and immortality to light by the gospel.' " 

" Oh, yes, Annie, that is beautiful." 

" I am glad you like it. But, oh, I wish Mrs. Silby had said, 
whether she thought we might get to be assured of our salvation 
Oh ! I would shout for joy, if I were sure of being convei'ted ; wouldn't 
you, Clara ?" 

" Well, Annie, it would be worth shouting for." 
There is a verse somewhere, that says : ' give diligence to 
make 3^our calling and election sure.' " 

" Why, Annie, it must be attainable, for it reads like a com- 
mand." 

" One thing, I am sure of, that God is willing to save us, and 
Christ has grace enough for everybody." 

'•Look here, you two little Fields, this chap is going away 
to-night across the lake. He'll be calling us to account. So we 
had better get out our tin." 

" Tut !" said Joint, " the fellow said he would only charge a few 
conditions." 

" Why," said Arthur, " he hasn't learning enough to know con- 
ditions from any other big word in the dictionary." 

" Silence a moment," said Joint. " Can you all keep a secret ?" 
" Yes ; out with it," cried Jerry. 



66 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



TheUjGieD, looking roancl to sec if they wci c all attentive, said, 
in a low voice : 

''I leave here to-night. Mr. Joint has just found that there is 
an officer of the law on my track. So I must fly with my valise, I 
can't tell where, and if " 

" I beg pardon," said Fred, but you haven't settled with 
Egorby yet." 

" Never mind, I'll make him all right. You give him this note 

after I'm gone, Mr. Joint. It s on the Bank of — '■ . The company 

has lots of money, but they don't owe me a red cent." 

" Hallo ! Carpenter Jackson, so your going, eh ?" 

" Yes, I'm just waiting for the stage." 

" Well, teli us what's to pay." 

''I told you a few conditions. One is, when you return from 
the theatre, at one or two in the morning, have some consideration 
for the others in the house, and make as little noise as possible. 
Take your boots off at the foot of the stairs, and go quietly to bed. 
Another is : if you cannot rise before ten o'clock on the Sabbath 
mornings, lie still and sleep till dinner time. Always remember 
that there are others as well as yourselves to think of. And in the 
third and last place, when you meet me again, have the manners to 
call me John Brown." 



CHAPTEE XIV. 

Now, reader, we will return to Cosey Cott and take note of 
what the women are doing there. Mrs. Barton and 'Becca Lunt sat 
thinking awhile, when, all at once, 'Becca started up, saying : 

" I have it now. Isn't preacher James over at William's now." 

" Yes," said Mrs. Barton, " that is his buggy at the gate. He 
is going back in the country, and is getting some oats to take with 
him for his horse." 

" Then," said 'Becca, " I must see him. You wait until I run 
over." And she hastened away, pulling down the broad rim. of her 
straw hat, to shade her eyes from the sun. 

" Well, well ; you might sureiy tell his own mother what you 
wish to say to him," muttered Mrs. Barton as she leaned back in 
her big arm chair. 

James Barton was just settling himself in the buggy, when 
'Becca laid her hands on the reins saying : " Hold on a minute till I 
ask you a question." 

Ask away, 'Becca," said he. 

"What money did you give Maggie? Would you know it 
again, Mr. James ?" 

" Let me think a moment, 'Becca Lunt. Yes; it was a bill that 
had been torn and patched with a piece of tissue paper." 

" That will do, Mr. Barton ; you can drive on now," and she 
turned to go. 

" But, 'Becca ; there was more than that, if she has lost it. 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



67 



The tinder would see ;i Yorker with it, for fear the basket would be 
more than a dollar. ' 

" Glad you told me that," said Becca, as she hastened back. 

" What a hurry you are in, jou mysterious body,'' Mr. Barton 
called, but 'Becca heard him not. 

When she returned to Cosey Cott she found the old lady helping 
herself and little Lottie at the cupboard. Oh ! hah ! stealing are 
ye ? I'll have you both put in jail," she said, pretending to be 
angry. 

"Doe away, doe away, coss tuzen !" cried the child, in alarm; 
" I tell 00 its ganma's lubbid and ganma's sugie." 

"Yes, sweety," laughed Mrs. Barton, " and it's grandma's house 
and grandma's dear pet." Then, turning to 'Becca, " You see, I 
can't help feeling at home here." 

" And I hope you will always feel so," replied 'Becca, ''but, 
now listen to me. I'm laying a plan to detect Maggie Langford: 
it's too far to walk back there this afternoon, but I'll go to-morrow 
and get the money from her to buy the basket for the bibles, as I 
am going to the village anyway. Mr. James says it is a patched 
bill, and I don't think she has any other money, for I didn't pay 
her. But, upon my word, if she has spent the money for drink I'll 
do no more for her, but let her suffer a little more of the 
consequences." 

" Well," replied Mrs. Barton. "But, oh! 'Becca, don't be too 
hard on her, Maggie is a woman of few words, and I hope yo;ii will 
find there is nothing low or mean about her. Indeed, at on^ time 
she put me to shame." 

" Put you to shame ! How was that ?" 

" By her candour in putting in a word for Christ and for truth, 
when I was too backward." 

" Yes, yes , Mrs. Barton ; I perfectly understand that. Maggie 
is not the first that has put in a word for (christian ity, when they 
think it will be two for themselves." 

" Well, well, 'Becca, that's enough about her ; don't hang up 
your hat yet; but put it on and come with me, do. William wants 
me to sort over his poor Ellen's clothes, and pick out some old things 
for Maggie." 

" All right ; but just let me settle things up a bit first, while 
you call Lottie, and put a clean pinafore on her, please. I always 
forget to ask you about Norah. Have you heard anything of her?" 

"No; 1 have not, 'Becca; but I dare say it was just one of 
those run away matches, and I wonder she kept it so quiet for she 
was always so outspoken. " 

" What 1 mentioned JS'orah s name for was, Ben, my husband, 
lias a relation employed about the station. He sees to the loading 
and unloading of baggage cars." 

" Well , what about that, 'Becca?" 

"Not much ; but he was telling Ben that one day a man drove 
up in a great hurry, and put a trunk on the platform, and told the 
porters to wait till he could get the address from the girl who 
owned the trunk. He ran to the cars, and either failed it\ seeing 



68 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



the girl or gettiDg the card in time. Anyway the car went off 
whistling, leaving the man and the trunk on the platform. He then 
desii ed the porters to put it in the storehouse till next day, when he 
would be at the next station and see it taken to her. He put his 
mark on it to distinguish it, and told some of them that the girl was 
his sister." 

" Pshaw ! what an idea ! Why, 'Becca, if the girl was the 
carter's sister, wouldn't he know her address ? But he was green." 

" Run on, Tottie, before us. See Willie coming to meet 
you." 

" No ! no !" said Tottie, " Willie will take tuzin's hand. " 
" Well/' continued Becca, " the trunk has not been called for 
since." 

Is that so, Becca ? Did your Ben see it or hear what like it 
was ?" 

" Yes ; it was a large trunk, covered with deer skin, and nailed 
with tacks having brass heads." 

" Oh! " exclaimed the old lady, '4t's poor IS'orah's. Whatever has 
happened to the poor girl. That comes of being in a hurry. She 
had no card put on, and she may lose her trunk, foolish girl" 

" Yes, grandma, she had a card," said Willie, " I know she had. 
It was my picture card, too. I put it in one day to hide it from 
Lottie." 

" Hush, Willie," said his grandma ; " Norah forgot to put her 
name on that trunk. That's what we mean by a card; not to put it 
in the trunk, but on it with tacks." 

" It will do, grandma," persisted the child. " That's just the way 
I done it. Because there was a rip on the deer's back, and I put my 
new picture card away under the skin, and I coaxed Norah to let 
me nail it down. So she gave me two brass heads to nail the rip, 
and said she would take it out some day, but she didn't." 

Never mind, Willie, you'll get another. Go on to the kitchen 
with your little sister, and keep her there till your cousin 'Becca is 
ready to go home. 'Becca, you cannot think how bad I feel about 
that girl disappearing so. We will just go up stairs to work. Eob- 
ina, will you fetch me the keys out of your father's desk?" she 
called out. 

Yes, grandma, here they are; and this is the one for the closet 

door." 

Are all your mamma's clothes there, Eobina ? " 

" Yes, grandma, Norah took them all out one day to air them. 
The day pa took us out for a sail. She said : ' Just give me the key, 
and say nothing to papa about it, because it would only make him 
feel sad.' Wasn't it kind of her, grandma? And she said she 
would put all mamma's very best clothes in the big box in the bot- 
tom of the closet. Here is the key for it grandma." 

" Very well, dear; just open Norah's room door, and let us 
have all the light we can get. Now, see, Becca ; we had better lift 
out the box into the middle of the floor, first. There ; it's not so 
heavy as I thought. I'll open it. But, my ! the key won't fit. 
Why, how is this ? It's filled with putty. Dear me, Eobina, bring 



NOTHING LIKE BL.4.CK ON WHITE. 



me a fork to pick it out. There, it's out now, and the fork prong 
broken. You are very quiet, 'Becca; what is the matter?" 

Poor 'Becca threw herself into a chair in a dreamy way — " I'm 
thinking — thinking." 

"Thinking? You needn't tell us you are thinking, for you've 
done nothing else. It's the first word you've spoken since you 

came upstairs. I am thinking, too, and Well, Eobina, my dear, 

you had better go down and get the tea ready. Your cousin has 
walked a good deal this afternoon, and a cup of tea will be very ac- 
ceptable. Just let her see what a nice table you can set." 

" Will I bake apples, too, grandma ? " 

" Yes, my dear ; and, Eobina, give Willie and Tottie something 
to play with, so that they won't go out ; it's getting rather 
chilly.' 

" Now, 'Becca, Eobina has gone. For pity's sake tell me what 
you suspect, for fear all is not right. There, the putty is all out, 
and another prong of the fork broken." 

" Mrs. Barton, open the box," said Becca, in a low voice, and 
you'll know what I was thinking about. There ; it's open." 

" Oh ! 'Becca, they are gone," exclaimed the old lady — " they 
are all gone. Oh ! wicked Norah, what will poor William say? It's 
too bad ; and we all thought her so honest. Why, if she only found 
a penny, she would seek out the owner." 

" Yes, yes," said Becca, " and with seeming honesty she had 
the run of the house, whereas if she had kept every little thing she 
found, she would never have been trusted. A wise girl was Norah. 
There, take everything out. See, Mrs. Barton, there is actually the 
cutting of poor Ellen's dresses. Of course, they were not fashionable 
enough for lady Norah, but had to be altered, and she did it all so 
quietly too." 

" Oh ! 'Becca, it was time she went ; just see the vile books 
she has been reading. I hope she has not showed these illustrations 
to the childx'en. And only look at all her own filthy cast-off clothing. 
Rags put in to fill up the box. What ever shall we do with these? " 

" Just take them to the field, Mrs. Barton, and make a bonfire 
of them. What else are they good for ? " 

" Well, hold on a bit, Becca, perhaps some of them could be 
fixed over for Maggie ? " 

'Becca, thought a while. Norah's rags for Maggie ? " No ! Mrs. 
Barton, you wouldn't have the face to offer them. Maggie is at least 
honest, and I don't think she would wear them. Let us just burn 
them." 

" Well, wait till William comes in." Then going to the stair's 
head, she called : " Children, tell your papa to come up to me as 
soon as he comes in." 

How hard it is," said 'Becca, "to get good trustworthy 
servants. A great many think only of the work they are to do, 
and the wages they are to get, but, dear me, that ain't everything. 
Why a great share of domestic happiness, or real comfort, is either 
lost or obtained through them. Here he comes." 

Slowly Mr. Barton ascended the stairs. " Mother ! " said he, 

6 



10. 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



" I wish you would settle these things without me, you know best 
what would do to give Maggie. I leave it to you and cousin 
'Becca." 

" My dear son, there is little either to keep or give away. That 
wicked Norah has been making very free with poor Ellen's clothes. 
She has taken them, and left her own rags to fill up this box." 

" Oh ! the heartless girl. She But, tell me, mother, has 

she taken everything off ? Canton crape shawl, brown silk dress, 
velvet jacket, silk stockings, these were Ellen's mother's, and given 
to my Ellen, with her portrait, on the evening of our marriage." 

" I have them safe, William, I took them in charge, when your 
poor wife took sick, knowing that she would have strangers about her. 
But with the exception of them, that wretch has taken everything 
of any value." 

" But, mother, you have not proof that she took them." 

" Yes, William, we have proof, but no witnesses." 

" So, mother, that accounts for her not letting the girls sleep 
in their own room. Its plain she wanted this for a sewing room. 
I am grieved to think that my beloved wife's clothes should go to 
adorn her body. Still, I am glad she is gone. I know," continued 
William, that women are apt to set a high value upon good dress, 
but, for my part, I set a higher value on my children's morals, and 
I am glad and thankful she is gone from amongst them." 

" But, what about those rags and cuttings ? Shall wc burn 
them ; and this obscene book ?" 

" Burn the book, mother, but the clothes I would put into a 
bag, and send them after her, if you only knew where." 

" Oh ! Mr. Barton," said 'Becca, " 1 want to tell you, Norah's 
trunk is lying in a storehouse at some wharf or station, uncalled for 
yet ; my Ben told me so, and its likely the stolen articles are in 
it yet." 



CHAPTEE XV. 

" Where arc you going, papa ? " said little Willie. 
" Going for Norah's trunk, my boy." 

" Bring me my picture card out of it, pa. Oh ! here comes 
cousin Becca Lunt," 

" Mr. Barton," said 'Becca, take the boy with you, you will 

find him handy, and it's only a little bit to S Station. H c has 

seen the trunk oftener than you, and would help you to single it 
out." 

And now, reader, that Mr. Barton and his little boy are on 
their way to the suspected trunk, you and I will even be their silent 
companions. 

''This way, sir," said the ofiicial, as with straps and keys he 
receded them into the store-room, where were several trunks, 
oxes, valises, and such like, in safe keeping, until properly claimed 
and taken away. 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. tl 

/ 

" Aro you sure you'll know the trunk said the baggage-man. 

" I am not certain that I will, though it was a long time in my 
house. I did not see much of it, it being in the girl Norah's room." 

" You're a fine fellow, to come looking for, you don't know 
what. Kecollect, I am accountable for what is under my key, and 
unless you can swear to it, sir, I cannot let it go," said the big 
official. 

" I think," said Mr. Barton, "this one covered with deer-skin 
is the one. I have already told you how it was taken from my house, 
and what we suspect it contains. However, if you have any doubts 
about me, I will wait till afternoon, when I will have a man here 
who will help me in this matter." 

Mr. Barton then turned to go, but the boy, Willie, was not so 
easily put off, but kept whispering : 

" Papa, give me your jack-knife." 

'* What do you want with it ? Come on out." 

" I want to get my picture card before the man locks the 
door." 

" Where is your card, youngster ?" 

" It's in here," said the child, away in .on the deer's back, and 
he picked at the nail to get it out." 

" Hold on, boy, I can't allow you to cut up so. Tell me how 
your card came to be there," and he told him. " ISTowtell me, young 
hopeful, what is on your card ? Is it a heart, a diamond, or a king ?" 

'Willie eyed him for a moment, then burst forth, " Its just 
yourself that's on it, with your bunch of keys. Yes, and a lot of 
other pictures prettier than you. TherC;, now, the nails are out of 
the rip. I've got my card. Aha!" It was only the picture alphabet, 
and for the T stood a portly turnkey. Willie stuck in the tacks 
again and gave a whistle, pleased to have recovered his lost 
treasure. 

" See here, Mr. what's the name ?" said the man, you may 
take the trunk ; your boy has sworn to it." 
Oh I I didn't ; did I ?" said Willie. 
'^No, my son, you did not swear." 
"No matter," said the big man, " you did as good." 
Oh I you are a bad man to call swearing good. Guess you 
never heard anybody swear, and that's the way you don't know what 
it is. If you only heard Abby Langford's grandpa ; that's the man 
that swears." 

" I'm sorry to hear it ; and I hope you'll never learn such a 
bad, mean habit," said the man, as he handed out the trunk. 

Twenty-four hours later, and the lost trunk has undergone a 
change ; everything has been taken out that had no right there, and 
in their place all Norah's things which she had left, with the ex- 
ception of some books of a light character, which our worthy friends 
cast into the fire, were put carefully in, the trunk fastened, Norah's 
name affixed ; and once more it is left at the station, with many 
surmisingH whether she will ever find it, and if so, what will she 
think of the transfer of its contents. So good-bye to Norah for a 
6i 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



while, and we will once more take our stand at "Widow Langford's; 

" Little girl, can I see your mother or your aunty ?" said Mrs. 
Lunt, as she stepped down trom her light cart. 

" My mother has gone to granny's, but aunty is in the kitchen," 
and the little girl ran there, but soon returned, saying her aunty 
had finished what she was doing, and gone up to her own room. 

Then I will just go up," said Mrs. Lunt, " if you will have an 
eye to my pony." 

She found Maggie dusting and settling her room, though it did 
not seem much in need of it. 

" And how do you feel yourself to-day ?" inquired Becca, as she 
shook hands. 

" Much better," said Maggie. " Thanks to the good minister for 
his pills and tonic. I had intended going to work for you to-day, 
but my sister-in-law was obliged to go to her father's, and I keep 
house till she returns." 

And Maggie, once in a while, would clasp her hands and give a 
pmothered sigh. 'Becca noticed it, and said: 

" You seem to be in low spirits. Miss Langford ; what's the 
matter?" 

Maggie gave an evasive reply, and tried to be cheerful ; but it 
was quite perceptible that she was feigning. 

am going to town with my light cart," said Becca, "and if 
you give me the dollar, I vvill get you the basket for the bibles, and 
save you that much of a walk." 

Maggie seemed pleased with the offer, and rose at once to get 
it ; but, alas, nowhere could she find the dollar. She said she knew 
it was in some careful place, if she could only mind where. 

"I am afraid my memory is flailing," she remarked, as she 
stood on a high chair to search the high shelf of her cupboard. 

" Perhaps," remarked Mrs. Lunt, " it has got into some of these 
bottles." 

" No," replied Maggie, innocently ; " it was a paper bill, and 
wouldn't drop into a bottle if it did fall. Strange that I should forget 
so," she muttered in a dreamy sort of way. 

" Oh ! " said Mrs. Lunt, " your memory does well to fail. Per- 
haps if you were to smell of these bottles in the bottom of your cup- 
board, they would refresh your memory, for I am thinking, if they 
could speak, they could tell a pretty story." 

" Oh ! Mrs. Lunt," exclaimed Maggie, " I ken now what you're 
driving at. Yer thinkin' that I spent that dollar for whiskey. Na ! 
na! I did not. I look upon the money as belonging to the Lord, 
Ah! yes ; them bottles have a history that makes a blot in mine. 
But, oh ! believe me, lady, I do not drink,'' and saying so, she burst 
into tears ; and looking for something to wipe her eyes, she crossed 
the room to where her shawl, sun-hood, and satchel hung. Taking 
the latter down off* a peg, she took her clean apron out, and was 
tying it on, when she gave a scream of delight, as she picked up a 
little pill box which had dropped as she she shook out the ajjron. 

"That's it; I mind now o' puttin' it in there when I took out 
the pills," and rushin' over to 'Becca, she pushed the little box in 
the palm of her hand, saying : 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



•73 



" Hech ! but I'm thankfu' it wasna' lost." 

Mrs. Lunt opened the box, and there indeed was the identical 
patched bill, and the yorker. 

" Oh ! it's just as he gie'd it tome — the gude Mr.Barton." 
" But the yorker is your's, Maggie." 

" Na ! na ! it's na mine. It's just as he gave it to me, and must 
all go for the basket." 

" Maggie Langford, can you forgive me," said Becca, "for my 
cruel and unjust judgment ? " 

" Oh ! Mrs. Lunt, never mind ; its all richt. I must mind and 
grieve too, for what I have said." 

" Do you forgive me ? Say yes or no, Maggie." 
Then heartily and fully I forgive you ; but don't think of the 
incident again, please. I would have acted the same, perhaps, had 
I been in your place, for indeed there seemed to be ground for sus- 
peeshun." 

" ^^ow, Maggie, I have tested your character, and you have 
come out all right. You have exhibited a Christian spirit," said 
'Becca ; " and I have a favour to ask of you. Will you do it ? " 

" I cannot say yes," she replied, " till I know what it is, and it 
would ill become me to disoblige you." 

" Maggie Langford, I want you to confide in me as a sister, and 
I promise to treat you as one. I know you have a cross to bear (we 
all have). You have trouble that the world knows not of. I may not 
be able to do much, but I can sympathize with you. Your trust will 
be sacred, sister Maggie. Will you let me share it with you? " 

" Dear, dear, Mrs. Lunt, you have been more than a sister to 
me. I feel like calling you motifier, only I'm too old for that ; and, oh, 
my troubles are light compared wi' some." 

But, Maggie, while I think of it, I wonder why you keep all 
those bottles there. They don't look nice, and your room is other- 
wise neat." 

I leave them there," she replied, " to remind me of my share in 
the ruin of others." 

" Maggie, what do you mean by the ruin ofothei'S?" 



CHAPTER XYL 

While these women are thus engaged, a very different conversa- 
tion is being carried on below stairs, between the little girl already 
mentioned, and brother Abbie. 

" Hallo ! whose horse and cart, Bessie?" 

" Why, Abbic, don't you know it's Mrs. Lunt's, and she is 
talking to aunty in her room. I think aunty is going out with her, 
for her sunhood and shawl are on the bed." 

"Golly, I wished she was killed," muttered the boy. 

" Abbie, you are a wicked boy, what do you want her killed 
for?" 

" None of your business. Was you up stairs, Boss ?" 



NOTHING LIKE BLA.CK ON WHITE. 



" Yes ; I went up to ask aunty if I could put the barley in the 
pot." 

" I do wish she was killed, for George hates her and Maud hates 
her." 

Why^ Abbie, what did she do? I'll tell mother, so I will, if you 
talk like that. Is it aunty you want killed ?" 

" ^^o ; its Mrs. Lunt ; aunt}^ ain't so much of a sneak, but that 
Mrs. Lunt or 'Becca, some call her, she is a regular sneak ; she 
always manages to be out in the road, or common, just when Groorge 
and Maud are out walking in the evenings." 

" Well, Abbie, what about that ? The common is wide." 

" You're a mope, Bessie, and don't know anything, so you don't. I 
tell you that Mrs. Lunt is a sneak." 

Well, what about it, it she is ? You say that I'm a mope, and 
that's just as bad." 

" No. Bessie, a sneak is the worst thing anybody can be. It's a 
pity Mrs. Lunt ever came to live in Cosey Cott." 

" Well now, Abbie, I passed down that road t vice, since she 
moved there, and she didn't watch me, but she gave me a big hand- 
full of currants once, and nice ones they were, too." 

" Do you know why, Bessie ? Because you are not worth 
watching. If you were big, like George and Maud, and going out at 
night to meet your beaux, the old sneak would watch you, never 
fear." 

" Dear me, what does she watch them for ?" 
Because she hates young CI iff, that's why, Bessie. She always 
manages to cross the road near them, when they are meeting. One 
niirht, when Maud was sauntering about near the style, waitiB^ 
for somebody, the old sneak walked right up to her and says : 'Take 
heed, this road might lead to hell'." 

"Oh, Abbie, did she say that ? Then Maud must not go there 
again after dark. If C lift' wants to see her, why can't he come here 
in the day time." 

Why, Bessie, you're nothing but an old fashioned mope ; you're 
almost an old maid. I'm sure you'll never get married." 

" Well, what about that, if I don't ; that's no great thing." 

"Oh, Bessie, Bessie, its aunty and Mrs. Lunt, that's spoiling 
you, I do believe. I wish they were both killed. Say, I'll fix her 
horse so he'll run away, and throw them all out on the road." 

" Oh, Abbie, 3'ou're a wicked boy, so you are. Doyou know what? 
They aie going to have a children's party at Mrs. Barton's, and they 
asked me and you to come. There now, and you want to kill her. 
There, she is going away," and Jessie ran to the kitchen. 

After a few minutes delay, Maggie and Mrs. Lunt came down 
stairs. 

" Good morning, Maggie. Come over as soon as you can, I 
must hurry now, for my horse is tired waiting." 
"Just let me help you up, Mr^. Lunt." 

''Oh! nevermind, Maggie; I can jump up like a youngster. 
There now; I'm all right. Good-bye." 

The unsuspecting 'Becca, with the reins in one hand and the 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



75 



whip in the other, and her heart full of charity, feeling better 
pleased than ever with pooi' Maggie, gave the pouy a slight touch 
of the lash, when off he wa] sed, leaving her sitting in the cart with 
the reigns in her hand, not knowing whether to feel angry or 
amused at her ludicrous position. No further harm was done, how- 
ever. 

'Becca soon caught the quiet animal and put him in going order 
once more. It was easy to be seen tiiat the young avenger had 
made some grand mistake in his arrangement, and so the intended 
accident was a failure and the hated old sneak still lived. This 
made a deep impression on her mind that there was room for 
i mprovement and reform in that family ; and as she spied him peeping 
round the back of the stable, she thought to herself, there goes a 
country Arab, a home heathen. 

"Good morning, Mrs. Lunt ; I couldn't rest last night for 
thinking about you. How do you feel after yesterday's fright ?" 

"Oh, I am all right, Maggie, except a slight soreness in my 
back ; that, of course, was caused by the sudden falling of the 
shafts. I am thinking your little niece had been and unbuckled 
some of the harness, intending to put the horse in the stable." 

^*No, ma'am ; but she told me all about it. It was her brother did 
the deed, and she was very sorry, and tried to turn him from his 
purpose, but he had taken the chances when she was not watching." 

" I am sorry to hear this of Abbie ; I do hope he will get better 
as he grows older. Bessie seems to be a proper behaved child," 

" Yes she is ma'am ; a dear lassie, and does many a turn for 
me, when I am ailing. An, a' the reward she asks is, ' aunty tell 
me some bible stories,' or ' read one out of Foxe's Book of Martyrs.' " 

" I'm truly glad to hear that good account of your little neice. 
Who comes now ? Why ! it is Mrs. Barton." 

" Yes, 'Becca, I came to see how you rested after your upset." 

" Yery well, indeed, and the soreness in my back is not so bad 
to-day. I have every reason to be thankful, and I begin to think I 
am of some consequence since you and Miss Langford have come to 
see me before ten o'clock. Who knows but I might have a few more 
calls before night," and 'Becca laughed pleasantly. 

" If you please," said Maggie, " I would like to do a wee bit o' 
washin' or scrubbin' for you. I know that neither of you have much 
help. You hav^e both been kind to me, an' I wad like unco' weel to 
do something for you both before I enter on my bible mission." 

" There, Maggie, is a parcel for you. See how that jacket and 
dress will fit you. And here," said 'Becca, ' is a cheap bonnet I 
bought for you to wear with the dress and jacket Mrs. Barton has 
given you." 

" And to whom am I indebted for a' this kindness ? And won't 
you let me pay for them." 

" Yes, Maggie, you can pay for them when you have more 
money than you know what to do with." 

" Tut 1 tut !" said 'Becca, "don\ talk of paying, it's a present from 
U8 two women, and no one is to know about it." 

" Between you," said Maggie, " you have made a decent body 



V6 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



of a poor washerwoman," and her heart filled as she turned away 
her face. 

''Nonsense, Maggie," said Mrs. Barton, ''you must not call your- 
self a washerwoman, though you have been under the necessity of 
doing it. You were born for something else, and we hope j^'ou are 
now going to do something that will suit you betteu than washing, 
so you will not have to work so hard after this. However, we will 
gladly accept your offer next week," 

" By the by. Miss Langford," said 'Becca, " you did not finish 
what you began to tell me yesterday. What did you mean by say- 
ing you had a share in the ruin of some one else ? It is proper 
that we should know it before you proceed on this sacred mission." 

"And when I have told you all,' ' she said, in a resigned tone, ''dear 
friends, you may see proper to bar my going. If so, God's will be 
done. Well, it was about six months after my dear brother's death ; 
I was ironing in the kitchen; my sister-in-law was at her brother's 
house, and George, who had been ailin' wi' a bad cold asked me to do 
him a favour. ' Auntie' he said, ' are you going to sweep and dust the 
office to-day for roe.' I said ' Yes, George, if you are not able, unless 

that Abbie. ' 'No,' said he, 'mother will not letany of them go, for 

fear they fall into a whiskey vat. So aunt, when you are there, look 
under the old desk, and you'll see a small cask of grog, fill this little 
pocket bottle and bring it to me. I want to get a hot drink to- 
night going to bed, to make me sweat. Don't you think it would 
do me good ?' ' Yes, George, I think it would cure', said I. ' All 
right' ; says he, 'and, aunt, don't forget the keys.' Well, I did as he 
desired. The boy had the hot punch, but complained that I did not 
make it strong enough. Again and again, when anything was the 
matter with him, an' he was often ailin', he got me to fill his bottle, 
till I saw it was going to be a regular habit. ' George,' I said 
one day, ' you must not di ink so much.' 'Oh ! pshaw !' said he, ' I've 

drank whiskey ever since I was ' ' But, George,' I said, 

' it will kill you. I'll bring no more for you, nor conceal it for you 
either.' A sullen look was all his answer. I'm feared I weaiy you 
with my speaking, Mrs. Lunt." 

"Not at all ;'go on Maggie, we're listening." 

" Well, it was in the next summer. One day when we were all 
in the orchard picking apples, Abbie called out, ' Come here, every 
one of you, and see where the ghosts of the Indians have been round 
here. Look at their work on this tree.' ' What do you see,' said 
Maud, ' to make such a noise about?' And they all gathered round, 
but could not make out clearly the marks on the tree. ' George,' 
said I, as soon as I could be hoard, ' my sister Bessy's name and 
mine are carved out on two trees in this orchard. I stood by with 
your grandfather and Aunt Bessie while it was being done. George 
say that they are mine. I planted them when I was younger than 
you, Maud. The names were cat the year your grandfather died, 
and that was the first they bore fruit. I have often intended speak- 
ing to you about those apple-trees ; so may I have them for the 
future ?' ' Yes , you may if you pay for them,' says Maud, ' not 
Otherwise. No doubt it was our father cut or carved them, and 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



with very little change I can make this stand for my name, Maud 
Langford, and the other long side is just Bessie.' ' No, no ! Maud,' I 
replied, 'it was not your father, nor your grandfather neither, that 
carved them. It was a man that lived and worked with them 
though, and he cut a sort of prophecy on a large beech away down 
by the river.' ' Oh !' says Maud, 'you mean the man that had our 
farm on shares, do you?' ' No, Maud, I don't mean him ; it was 
before that. He was a carpenter by the name of Brown.' ' Was ho 
Scotch ?' enquired Abbie. ' Bah !' returned Maud. ' you may be sure 
he was that, and that's why aunt thinks so much of his work.' 
' You're wrong there,' said I. 'His parents were both Irish, I think, 
tho' they lived in Scotland. John Brown, himself, was born and 
brought up in Montreal, and lived there a long 
time before he came to Tipper Canada. He was a quiet, 
inotfensive man, and God-fearing, and so devoted to his mother. 
And now, George and Maud, tell me what price you set on 
those trees, and I'll try — ' but here I was interrupted by their 
mother coming. 'What's all the catter batter about now?' she 
cried. ' Nothing, mother, only Aunt Magg is laying claim to some 
of our trees. She wants us to sell or give her two of them ; the 
very best.' ' The trees,' said Mrs. Langford, ' are mine, and you 
can neither sell nor give them. So let me hear no more about it, 
and mind your work.' Little Bessie (a wee bit bairn she was then) 
came to my side. ' Never mind,' she says, in a coaxin' way, ' wait 
till I get growed big, an' I'll buy you apples an' tree, too.' Then to 
help change the subject, Abbie asked me about the beech tree 
down by the river. ' What was on it ?' I told him it was just 
two lines. ' Train carefully up the youthful mind. The tree 
bends, as the twigs incline.' ' And do you call that a prophecy, 
aunt?' said Maud. ' I know it's not what people call a prophecy,' 
I said ; ' but, anyway, its a true sayin.' No more was said about 
trees till long after." 

"But, Maggie," remarked Mrs. Lunt, "I cannot see what all 
that has to do with what you were to tell us ?" 

" You shall hear directly. You mind I refused to smuggle any 
more drink for my nephew, but that didn't cure him of drinkin' ; he 
took it at the distillery. The whiskey was missed frequently. 
George tried to put the blame on one of the men employed there. 
The man denied it. Then they quarrelled and fought, and in the 
strife George broke the man's watch. He threatened to inform on 
George to the head managers, and that was George's uncle, and grand- 
father on his mother's side. That frightened George ; he would 
rather that the whole world knew than those two. So, after they 
cooled down a bit, George offered to get the watch fixed, or give the 
man twenty-five shillings to get clear. George knew at this time 
that I was saving up money to buy the two trees, so he came up to 
my room.' ' Aunt,' ^ays he, 'I want to make a bargain with you 
about them ti-ees.' ' How much can you pay now ?' ' George,' I 
answered, 'how much does your mother want?' 'Oh!' he said, 
'she should be satisfied with six dollars a piece.' 'I have only 
twenty-five shillings/ I said, 'Just/ said he. 'give me that, and 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



I'll give you a receipt.' ' But let me go to S firat, for fear he 

goes to my uncle.' He then told me of the scrape he had got into. 
In the evening he came again, and a bottle with him. 'Magg,' said 
he, * I want to make another bargain with you. I want you to give 
me the bottom part of that cupboard; and mind, now, you're not to 
be telling on me.' ' No,' I eaid, 'but you didn't give me that receipt 
yet.' ' Oh,' he said, ' his hand shook too much that night; he had 
walked twice to and from the distillery, which had put him all in a 
flurry. Never mind, I'll write it in the office to-morrow, 
and bring it up to you. And, see here, there is a small stove down 
there you might as well have. It would keep this place nice and 
warm in winter.' " 



CHAPTER XYII. 

" Well, I got the stove, though it was of little use, it was so 
broken, but the receipt I never got, nor never will. I keep the key 
of my door; and many a time,when I have been out late,and come 
up to my room, I would no sooner be in than poor George would 
come, in nervous haste, take a drink out of his bottle, then hurry 
away to his bed before it would affect his head. Oh ! I am sorry, 
sorrj, that I helped him to get it unknown to his mother. I believe 
he would have had it any way. Still, I did wrong." 

'' But, Maggie, does he still have drink ? I mean, does he still 
keep it in your cupboard ?" 

" No, ma'am, not now. If he has any way of concealing his 
bottle, it's with Parley, that boards in the house. His mother was 
often away at granny's." 

^' Does his mother not know that he drinks ?" 

" Oh, yes ; she knows, and worries about it too, and does all 
she can to hide it from the rest. Poor boy, he has gone twice out of 
his mind." 

Dear me," said 'Becca, "it's really awful. Why, he is not 
eighteen years of age, yet, and his face is as blue as my apron. I 
cannot help thinking that his associates have had much to do with 
his ruin. Really, there ought to be some society formed here, just 
for evenings, where our lads would have something to amuse and 
instruct them, instead of idling around — something that everyone 
would have an active part in. You see, poor Greorge could not very 
well help being brought together with a bad class, and he, of course, 
would be with thj rest — doff his glass, smoke his pipe, or chew a 
great, black cud." 

'' Maggie," said Mrs. Barton, " we have no need to tell you that 
you did wrong. You appear to feel that keenly enough already. 
But I do think you might have entertained them with books. His- 
tory, or even innocent games would have been better .than spending 
their evenings — no one knowsiwhere." 

" Ah ! Mrs. Barton ; do you not know that an old woman- — •" 

^'Tut ! tut!" said 'Becca, " you're not so old," 



NOTHINO LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



79 



"An empty pocket, a coarse hand and homely visage, have less 
influence than youth and wit. And, of course, taverns and saloons 
have alwa^'s soTuething to entertain." 

Aye ! there is some truth in what you say," said Becca. " We 
are all less or more inclined to respect and be taken up with a 
pei'son of wit and rich attire. I remember being greatly amused 
when in Quebec. I was at a concert one evening, ' at which there 
were some hundreds, young and old. There was an old lady there, 
well known to most of them. There was always something a little 
odd about her, and old-fiishioncd, but nothing really bad. She was 
sitting at one side, looking rather sleepy, when a dashing young gen- 
tleman — mistaking her for somebody else — took a seat beside, and 
commenced a chat with her, She was so deaf that she never heard 
him, but kept dipping into her snuffbox. Suddenly, he looked up 
into her face to get her answer, when — lo ! he saw his mistake — 
darted olf as though he had been shot, upsetting the chair in his 
hurry. He was laughed at, I tell you, for being so blind. ' Thun- 
der ! ' said he, 'I would as soon be seen along side my father's cow.' 
And he was a church-going member." 

" Ah ! well," said Mrs. Bar ten, " his being a professor may have 
hindered him from using worse language, or taunting her about her 
old age. So it's well to look on the bright side of things." 

I can't think how anyone living in the fear of God could act 
so inconsistent — be they old or young." 

" Surely that young man wasn't a Christian, no matter" what he 
professed ?" said Maggie." 

" Maggie ! Maggie ! look within before you pass judgment upon 
others." 

Maggie coloured. " I thank you for the reproof. Oh! how 
ready I am to see the faults of others, but slow to see my own." 

" Yes," replied 'Becca, " much need to cry ' Hold Thou me up.' 
Oh ! what mistakes we would make if God lett us to ourselves — to 
our own guidance." 

"Mistakes," said Mrs. Barton— "Yes. That reminds me of 
something I read long ago. You know it is a dreadful sin to 
take one's own life, or that of others. Well, this was about a very 
godly man, who seemed troubled in his mind. No one knew for what 
— but he was found Ij'ing dead with his throat cut. I think the story 
said they heard him fall. His family were horrified — he so pious, 
so godly — to yield so far to the devil as to take his own life. Where 
now was his soul ? Seai'ching around him they found a bit of paper, 
evidently written after the fatal deed was done, but before he dropped 
on the floor. Though written in haste." 

" And what were the words ?" asked 'Becca. 

" The words were : ' My God left me to myself but for a mo- 
ment, and see what [ have done.' It was a mercy that the man left 
80 much of an explanation. What a comfort to his friends! See, 
now, just as some thougiitlcss, wilful child, vvhorn his nur.se ha.s 
been watching all day long, if she leaves him but a few minutes, 
how he fails and blundci-s." 

"Ah !" said Maggie, " how much need of faith to hold on to the 
Lord Jesus." 



80 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



But, Maggie, it's not our holding on to Him that saves us from 
falling, but His hold on us by His Spirit." 

" Oh ! yes, ma'am ; it's our only safety. Judas Iscariot took his 
own life." ' 

" Yes, Maggie ; his was a fearful example ; a warning to all to 
beware of tha love of money." 

When I was a young lassie," continued Maggie, " I used to 
think with pity of Judas Iscariot, because that which he did was of 
necessity -like laid upon him. It was decreed or fore-ordained by 
God, though by the act his soul was lost." 

" Well," replied Mrs. Barton, " 1 know it is generally believed 
that the soul of Judas is with the damned ; but, really, we have no 
scripture authority for it, and for aus^ht we know his soul may be 
in glory. It may be that the Divine restraint was withheld in that 
hour of darkness, like that godly man I read of God left him for 
a while, and just during that time the devil tells Judas : 'Judas, 
here is a chance for you to make thirty pieces of silver; don't be 
the least afraid to betray Christ ; Christ can easily get away out of 
their hands,' and so the act was committed, and " 

" But," interrupted Maggie, " did not Christ speak of him as 
being lost ?" 

" Yes, Maggie ; in one sense he was certainly lost. Lost out of 
that honored little band, soon to go forth as heralds of a glorious 
redemption. Greed was his besetting sin, and it caused him to 
commit a worse one. Oh ! how bitterly he repented when he found 
Jesus was condemned to die. He brought the fatal money again to 
the chief priest^, thinking, perhaps, to undo the mischief,and makes 
his sad confession : I have sinned in that I have betrayed the inno- 
cent blood.' But when he saw they were not disposed to be favor, 
able, he throws down the money in disgust or anger at his folly- 
He had failed to deliver Jesus out of their hands, and now his 
remorse was so great, so insufferable, that he departed and hanged 
himself" 

"And do you really suppose, Mrs. Barton, that Judas, the 
traitor, has a share in that great salvation ?" 

'Becca, I don't know ; no one can tell. But this we do know, 
that there was merit and efficacy enough in that innocent blood to 
atone for his guilt. There was room enough in that suffering 
Saviour's heart to include even Judas in that intercessory prayer: 
' Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.' You see, 
if Jesus had been a mere man, Judas would have stood a bad chance. 
But 'God's ways are not our ways,' and his thoughts far above our 
thoughts. Man's thoughts in such a case are thoughts of revenge, 
but God's thoughts are of love, of forgiveness, and of pity." 

After a few minutes of Quaker-like silence, a light step was 
heard in the doorway, and a voice said : And they that feared the 
Lord spoke often, one to another, and the Lord hearkened and 
heard." 

So said Mrs. James Barton, of Willowvale Manse. 

" Why, Jessie," said the old lady ; " is it you ?" 

^'Yes; it's me," was the answer. "I stood in the doorway a 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



81 



few moments, not liking to disturb your conversation. Jack drove 
me down in the buggy. Some one was telling him this morning 
that Mrs. Lunt was thrown out of her cart yesterday, so I came 
down to see if she was hurt; but, really, 'Becca, you seem all right." 

" Why, yes, I can't complain, and, indeed, a little toss is not 
the worst thing in the world. You are my third visitor this morn- 
ing. However, I don't want to get another toss, for the next time I 
might not be so fortunate." 

" I am glad you escaped so well," said Mrs. James. Then press- 
ing her fingers on her forehead she continued, " What's this I was 
thinking about as I stood in the doorway ? Oh ! I mind now ; 
couldn't we have a mothers' meeting once a month or so ? There is 
a number of us women around here all of one mind. What do you 
think of it, grandma?" 

I think it would be very profitable, if wo can only get them 
to come out. We could meet over at William's or here, or at the 
manse." 

" Suppose, 'Becca, we met here on the first of next month. We 
must not expect a large attendance." 

" If you wish it, I could tell folk when I'm round wi' the bibles," 
said Maggie. 

i think not," replied the old lady. " It would come better from 
the minister's wife." 

After Maggie had gone Mrs,. Lunt gave a sigh, saying, " I can't 
forget about poor G-eorge. And I am thinking if we had a better 
class of taverns things would not be so bad. Though Eeuard's is 
not the worst, and it is likely Abbie will follew George's ways." 

" Put on your thinking cap again, 'Becca," said the old lady, 
" Renard's is good enough ; as for that, a better class of taverns 
would only trap the better class of people, I think." 

And Maggie Langford went on her mission. It was a new life 
to her. She felt as if elevated in position. She had often thought 
to herself, " Oh ! if only I could do some good in the world." And 
now her desire was granted. A few weeks later and she presented 
herself before Mr. Barton. 

If ye please, sir, I've sold them all,- and here is the money and 
the account." 

All right," said Mr. Barton, when ho had looked over it. 
" But, Maggie, what names are these?" 

" Oh ! sir, ye see I whiles met wi' paur faulk that wau'd like a 
testament but cudna' pay for it, so I bad them just pit down their 
names." 

" That was a good idea, Maggie. I'm glad you done so, and now 
L will write their names on the books they want and you give them 
free." 

" A great many, sir, asked me for prayer-books and rosaries, 
and for every one tliat wanted a bible, ten wanted dream books, 
cheap novels and songs. Some took me for a peddler." 

" Not a bad trade, Maggie. By the bye, my sister Lucy and 
her husband left five dollars for your benefit." 

For me !" said Maggie, astonished like, " surely it's a mistake. 
It wadna' bo for mo." 



82 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



" Yes, for you, Maggie, with this condition, that I was to decide 
huw to lay it out. I think itwoiiM ho best to lay it out in some 
small ware. They will lie in one end of your basket. Of course 
Avhat you make on these will be your own. Here is your receipt 
for the bible money, and hero is your five dollars. Be sure and keep 
separalo accounts. 'Black on white, mind.' I will have more 
bibles m a few diiys. AVith the proceeds of your small wares you 
can replenish your own stock. 

"Kind sir, I would like to thank you, but I can't get words." 

*' Its all right, my good woman," said the pastor. • 

And Maggie, with a modest curtsey, left the manse light and 
happy, only for one thing. Oh ! if she could only stop George in 
his downward course. If she could only see him become a temperate 
youth. 



CHAPTER XYIII. 

Perhaps, kind reader, it would not be amiss to follow our 
bible woman on one of her tours. The day is cold, drizzly, half rain 
and half snow, but Maggie's heart is warm for the work. She had 
gone a few miles from home, and arriving at a stage depot, where a 
number of people were waiting for the convcycncc to take them to 

the city of . 8he offered her wares for sale, and some 

bought from her. As she was about to return home, a gentleman 
told her she had better go into the waiting-room and warm herself 
at the stove before starting. It was while she sat there that two 
Irishmen commenced the following conversation, by which Maggie 
was greatly amused : — 

'' And so yer' — yer' going to thry it agin, are ye ? Eh, Pat ? " 

" Why, yis ; I feel more secure this time, tho' it ain't my first 
love." 

" Well, Pat, luck to you, I say ; only don't be after making a 
f\)o\ of yerself this time, or I'll never spake another word to ye. 
Why, man, deai-,the way you trated that poor girl, it was a caution. 
Ye ought to be ashamed ever to stand afore thepraste with another. 
That's so, Pat." . ^ 

" Hould yer' peace, Tom. You would have done the same if 
ye'd been in my place, so you would." 

"Is it me that would have done the like, eh? An' it's there 
yer' mistaken, Pat." 

" Why, yes, Tom, I always thought ye had an honest core in yer' 
heart, I did for shure." 

It's honest I thried to be ; that's so. An' do ye mean to tell 
me that it — ^ " 

" Easy, Tom ; spake easy. Don't bawl so everyone will hear. 

" Do yo mean to tell me that it was an honest thing of ye to go 
a courtin' a girl till ye got her consint, and then turn yer' broad back 
on her, Pat. It was mighty like a theatrical play. And then to 
have it in the church, and afore the altar. I wasn't prepared for it, 
nohow." 

" Neither was I, Tom, no mor'n you." 



iSroTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



83 



" What do you mane, eh, Pat ? Are ye mad crazy, to say you 
wasn't prepared, no more than me. Shure, then, what did ye come 
there for ? Ye looked as if ye had all cut and dried, as they say for 
an ugly action. An' in me heart, Pat, I hope the praste made you * 
do pin nance for that same." 

. " Easy, Tom ; don't be after firing up, an' I'll tellye jist how the • 
thing happened ; an' thin I'll be able to take my Nancy to the altar 
to-morrow, with a clear conscience. An' thin, maybe, ye'll be honest 
enough to say I did right. Another thing : if ou come, don't sit 
so far back, an' ye'll hear better, Tom ; an' mind I say " 

" Go on, Pat, with your first say ; for I'm tired, I am." 

" I beg your pardon, Tom. You see there was some blunder 
about the aftair, all through ; but to make a long story short, we 
were walking away to the church, I in my Sunday best, an' she 
dressed so, so. ' Darlint ! ' I says ; ' haven't you a better dress ?' ' Oh, 
yes,' says she ; ' I have beautiful dresses in my trunk, if it would 
come along. Whatever keeps it so. I wonder.' ' ' But, darlint,' says 
I, ' why didn't ye put on one of 'em, when ye knowed we were to 
be married to-day ? You said you had a beautiful sky-blue merino. 
A drop of rain wouldn't have spoilt it.' ' Because,' said she, 'people 
would see it. I have a lot of good dresses that belonged to my mis- 
tress. I took and fixed them over so nice. I'll wear them when we 
get away from here,' says she. ' You see, Pat, they gave me no 
present for nursing that sick woman.' '80,' says she, ' I took the 
clothes.' Wasn't she bould? It turned me heart, Tom; it did. I'd 
have married the girl, and no dress at all, rather than stolen ones. 
' Never mind,' says I to myself; ' I'll be up sides with you for that.' 
So we walked up to the alt^r, and the ceremony went on till the 
question came : ' Will you have this woman to be your wife?' I 
thundered out : ' No, never ! She ain't honest enough for me. So, 
good- bye, Norah. I could never marry you, after stealing that dead 
woman's clothes. I'd have no luck.' " 

Our bible woman then rose up, thinking to herself, it's Parmer 
Barton's servant lassie they are speaking about. So, going across 
to where they sat, she asked Pat if he knew where the woman 
Norah, was now. 

" Not a bit of me, ma'm," said Pat ; " and don't want to, either." 

Reader, may I have your company down to the great City of 
the Mountain ; you will recognize the place for you and I were there 
before. The widow Brown has been ailing for some time, and her 
son is her almost constant attendant. Some people think that men 
are not gentle enough to be nurses, especially to women, but that's 
not HO. When the heart is in the right place, they make splendid 
nurses. I myself have known husbands, brothers and sons to wait 
on the sick, I was going to say as no female could do. At any rate, 
John was a good one. 

" Mother," said he, one day, " if you get over this sickness, I 
would like to take you to a better house. I would hire a girl to do 
the work. I am well able to do it. Would you like it, mother ? 
We would be so happy." 



84 



NOTHINO LIKE BLACK ON WHITE; 



Ah, John, it's a higher country I am going to, and a grander 
house than you could buy."' 

^' Oh ! mother, how can I over live without you ? " 

" My death may be a loss to you, but, John, it will be a gain 
to me." 

" Mother, will }'ou forgive me for every time I may ha.ve 
grieved you." 

After a minute's silence, she asked : John, do you remember 
the mixture you made ? " 

" Yes, mother, I haven't forgotten that yet." 
And how's the conscience now, my son ; and the tobacco 
box ?" 

"All right, mother. Conscience is clear of drink, and the little 
box clean and clear." 

" God bless you, my son. You're none the worse for having 
provided for your old mother. Aye 1 aye ! the promise that came 
with the fifth commandment, will surely rest on my son's head. - 
Do you mind the time you subscribed for the Witness, John ? how 
vexed 1 was." 

" Yes, mother, but you liked it better after a while." 
Oh ! yes, my son, I liked it very much. They are all here, 
every one," and the old lady laid her hand on the bod clothes. 

" Mother," said Brown, as he passed his hand over her gray 
hairs. " Mother dear, your meirory is failing you. There are no 
papers here, " ee, didn't you use them to light your fire." 

" No; not one of them, my son. They are all here, every one. 
Smooth and clean, under my bed tick, on the mattrass, all carefully 
folded, after Mrs. Crane and I had a-oad them. How long is it 
since ? " 

" Nearly two years, mother. This is November, and I think it 
was about the new year. How would you like to have them bound ? 
They would make a nice book." 

" Yes, John, but I'll never see it. My death will be in it before 
you get it bound." 

" Oh ! mother, I wish that would never be." 

" Don't say that, John, nature you know must have a change, 
I will soon put off old age. John, let me rest a bit, for I am tired, 
and sleepy." And the dear old lady slept as calm as an infant. 
When awakening up she seemed as if trying to recollect something. 
" Yes, many a time I've said : ' Blessings on the man that put that 
in the pa])er.' " 

" Put what in, mother ? " said John. 

" That good bit of reading for the Lord's flock. Oh ! how often 
it has refreshed me. Keep the Witness, John, and my bible. There 
is nothing can take the place of the bible." 
Yes, mother, I will." 

" My poor son, I am sorjy for you, and would die happy if 
you were married, and had some one to love and care for you, or if 
you could only get into some good family, and like, live and die 
with them. I wonder you ever left the Langfords, after bei4ig so 
long there." 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



85 



For different reasons, mother. They didn't require my 
services." 

" I suppose not, John, after turning to the other- " 

" They were a good, kind family, mother, but were getting 
very saving and anxious to make money, too much so I fear. Well, 
the eff'ects of poor nourishment, and sometimes little of it also, 
haixi work, soon threw them into fever, from which poor Mr. Lang- 
ford never rose." 

" All this came of being too saving and greedj^ to make money. 
Not taking the good food providence sent them. Still, I must say, 
Miss Maggie was good to me, and when I la}^ sick with the 
pleurisy, daring two weeks or more, I could not leave my room, 
Maggie nursed me as tenderly as if she had been m}^ sister." 

A few days after this conversation, as Mr. Brown sat reading a 
chapter for his mother. 

John," said she, " get me something to eat, and a cup of tea, 
I feel so weak. It's all habit, nothing else, John." 

" What's all habit, mother." 

" The habit I have always practiced of taking a cup of tea 
about four o'clock in the afternoon, and if I xDass that time I get 
8o weak. It's all habit John." 

John got her a cup of tea, a nice bit of white bread and fresh 
butter; While she was sipping her tea, she said : 

" When did you hear from the Langfords, and how are they ?" 

" I saw a man from there, a short time since, who told me a 
rather sad tale about them, but I found out that part of his story 
was not true, so it may be the rest is not true either." 

"What did he tell you?" 
Why, mother, he said widow Langford was like to loose her 
property. Things had gone against them so, and young George 
Langford was drinking hard. And the man said he saw Maggie 
going about from door to door, with a basket on her arm, as if look- 
ing for charity." 

" What ! can it be possible that they have turned her adrift en 
the world to beg for her bread. John, they never will prosper. 'No ; 
no ; you must do something for her, ray son." 

"Pshaw ! mother, would you have me marry a beggar." 

" My son, I didn't say to marry her, but you can give her a few 
shillings now and then. I can't think why she should beg. The 
Scotch, as a nation, are above that. All the time I lived in Scotland 
I never saw a beggar. It's only a few days ago that you said if you 
ever saw her in want, and it in your power to do her a good turn, 
you would do it. Don't swallow your words, John." 

"Maggie is not in want, mother, for I wrote up to Mr. Barton, 
and soon got his answer. He said there was some truth in the 
man's story to me. But, as for Maggie Langford going about from 
house to house, it was under his directions, and nothing to be 
ashamed off. Maggie was a bible woman now, and doing a nice busi- 
ness, and was paid well for it." 

" I am glad to hear that," .^aid Mrs. Brown; " I never saw them 
but once. It's a long time since. They stopped here a fortnight on 
6 



86 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



their way up. She and Bessie always reminded me of the two girls 
mentioned in the gospels, Martha and Mary," 

" Is that so, mother, and which do you think ^ as like Mary ?' 

" Bessie was the Mary one, so quiet and spiritual like. She was 
the better looking, too. Maggie, again was like Martha. A care 
taking, and hard working body." 

"^Mother, your hands don't look very work like," said Brown, as 
they fondly stroked each other's hands. 

"John," she said, "I want you to take, or send, this ring on 
my finger to her, and give her my blessing for her kindness to the 
widow's son. You won't forget, ^fter I am gone;" 

" No, mother, all shall be done as you desire, but I wish you 
would talk about something more cheerful. Let me comb and 
brush your hair before you go to sleep." 

Carefully he untied her old-fashioned, full frilled cap. Then, 
dipping the corner of a towel in tepid water he wiped her face and 
hands. Ob, so gently ; then combed and brushed her white hair, so 
softly, while she leaned on his manly breast. During ten minutes 
not a word was spoken. Then he replaced her cap, and kissed her 
wrinkled forehead, smoothed her pillow, and laid her gently back, 
saying, as he did : 

" You will sleep better for that." 

She clasped her bands together and muttered something to 
herself 

Are you in pain, mother, dear ? 

No pain, John, no pain, only so weak. Father in hoavon, 
bless my son. Grant that his latter end may be peace. What 
would 1 have done without you, John, best of sons." 

^'Dear, dear, mother, don't praise me. The credit is all your 
own. I am just what you trained me to be. You never allowed me 
to disobey or speak disrespectfully to you when I was a youngster, 
and habit, you know, is second nature. Tnat's so, mother. You 
didn't spare the rod, though I was your only child. If you had 
given me my way and let me run wild, I would be no stay or com- 
fort to you now." 

A child left to himself, bringeth his mother to shame," said 
she, in a low voice. 

Not many more such conversations had John Brown with his 
aged mother. A few more nights of watching, a few more days of 
nursing, and all is over — dust returns to dust, and the spirit to God 
who gave it. 

After Brown had buried his mother, he gathered up her eifects 
and left them in safe keeping. He could not for a moment think 
of selling them. The paper she had so carefully hoarded up, he sent 
to get bound as soon as the volume would be complete. The ring, 
with a lock of her hair, he wrapped carefully up in a piece of tissue 
paper to send to Maggie. 

The Cranes missed her very much. They were all sympathy 
for Brown, but he did not mourn as those without hope. He knew 
all was well. It was the Lord's time to take her, and it was the best 
time. Ho had heard of some who had lived longer than she — but 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



Si 



what sort of a life. Their minds gone ; their health gone ; bed -ridden — 
a burden to themselves and friends. The more he thoughtof it, he 
felt the more thankful that she had died as she did. And now, that 
his only earthly relative was gone, the great city had little attrac- 
tion for him, and again he left. 

People change, places change, all things change, but the Lord 
changeth not. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

Friendly reader, while the carpenter is pursuing his avocation—- 
no matter where — yod and I will stop at Willow Yale manse. Mag- 
gie, the new bible woman has just departed with a fresh supply — 
light at heart, only for her one great trouble — G-eorge's dissipation. 
We will peep in and see Aunt Hatt, in her accustomed seat — still in 
gray lustre — never anything lighter, a plain, white collar and black 
apron, her work-basket beside her, her almost constant employment 
being knitting and darning. Her crutch stood in the corner be- 
side her chair, though she didn't use it much. Still, she liked to 
have it near, and no one ever thought of displacing it. Just now 
she is opening out a paper, while Jack threw himself on a seat by 
the- window. 

"There, now," said Jack, " that, what-do-you-call-her, is away, 
and didn't get her Witness. Possie, caliber back to get it." 

" Never mind. Jack, said Aunt Hatt," she'll get it next time she 
comes, and 111 road some to the children. Don't throw the orange 
peels on the floor, Jack, they might cause somebody to fall." 

"Lot the somebody keep their eyes open," was Jack's 
reply. 

"Ahal" said Possie, " I know where you got the orange ; 
you got it from the woman that got bibles to sell." 

" Well, I know I did, Possie— have a piece. Tell you what, 
that woman will make money," continued Jack, looking towards his 
aunt. " Why, she has capital enough to start business for herself. 
You ought to be a mission woman. Aunt Hatt — I mean you ought 
to go around with a basket, like Maggie. You would be doing good, 
and at the same time making money to keep yourself." 

" But," said Neddie, " she hasn't got a basket like that other 
woman. It has a handle on it." 

"Pshaw !" replied Jack, " that's a small excuse; it would be 
easy to get a basket." 

" But, Jack ; she's lame and couldn't walk," pleaded the child. 

Poor Aunt Hatt gave a sigh, but said nothing ; the children 
often talked that way, she was getting used to it. 

" If she goes, I can go with her and help to carry the basket,' 
said the fair haired Possie, " Can't I, Aunt Hatt ? I know the road' 
by Uncle William's, because I went there with you when Aunty 
Ellon was sick." 

" Yes ; but it made aunt worsor," said Neddie (wise Neddie). 

^ 



88 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



" Were you lame when you was little like me ?" * 
" No, Possie ; I was not." 

" Why," said Jack, I thought you were born so ?" 
" No ; it was an accident, Jack. I was quite well when you 
were little." 

''Then, how did it happen ?" enquired Jack, with some impa- 
tience in his manner. 

" Didn't you just get hurted ?" said Neddie, in a sympathizing 
tone. 

" Yes, darling ; I just got hurted ; and, if you sit still, I'll tell 
you how it happened. I was coming home from town one day (the 
roads were rough then, not as they are now), and a man was driving 
along with a young colt, which he was breaking in. He insisted on 
me getting into the buggy and riding with him. I refused to comply, 
the horse looked so furious and wild. He would not listen to me. 
I begged him to take care of himself, and let me walk. He got 
angry, and, with an oath, said if I didn't get in he would drive to 
h — 1. I consented, and no sooner had I done so than he forgot his 
promise ; forgot, too, that it was only a two-year old colt he had, 
and tugged and jerked the lines, also using the whip too freely. 
The frightened and spirited animal sprang from one side of the 
road to the other. At last, stril^ing a stump, one wheel came off, 
and we were both pitched out. The young man was not hurt, but I 
was made a cripple for life. Some people near the road saw me fall 
and very kindly brought me here. Your fathei' was from home at 
tha time, so the young man went for a doctor. He brought a young 
practitioner, with little skill in his head and too much brandy in 
his stomach. He failed in setting my knee properly." 

''Say, Aunt Hatt; was that that the man you were going to 
marry ?" 

" Who told you that, Jack 

" I heard somebody say that you would have married him, only 
he used to curse and swear so." 

" Now run away to your play, children," said Aunt Hatt. 

"Well, well !'' said Jack, " that man ought to have given you 
enough to suppoi't you all your life. Wait till I am a lawyer. Sec 
if I don't make him hand out the chink. Yes ; and pay up for 
back scores too, that I will. Where is he now ?" 

I don't know. Jack ; he went to the Southern States." 

" Oh ! only that you're father's sister, you might have whistled 
for a home," said Jack, "especially since grannie's given up her 
cottage." And Jack, with one leg over the stair rajling, his usual way 
of descent, soon found himself in the dining-room. 

" Ned," said he, " run back for my cap. It's lying on Aunt 
Hatt's bed." 

The child ran up. 

" Here 'tis. Oh ! are you crying, Aunt Hatt ? I didn't know 
big womans could cry. Are you sorry you got your knee hurted ? 
Is it sore now ?" 

" Oh ! Neddie ; I am sorry I got my knee hurted ; but it's not 
sore just now." 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



89 



Then what are you crying for, Aunt Hatt ? What's sore ? 
Tell me, won't you, and I'll be your little boy." 
" It's my heart, darling ; my heart !" 

" Oh ! your heart. Did you get your heart hurted too, Aunt 
Hatt ? Pity you couldn't bind it up, like you got your knee 
binded ; but Aunt Hatt nobody could get at it." 

" Yes, jSTeddie, Jesus Christ could." 

"But, Aunt Hatt, does Jesus know its hurted?" 

" Yes, darling, He knows all about it." 

" Well, Aunt Hatt, don't cry. Just get pleased. We'll get Him 
to mend it ; see if we don't." 

" Neddie, don't say anything about me when you go down 
stairs," and she kissed the chubby boy, as he darted off with the 
cap. 

Soon a man walked softly in, and a strong arm was passed 
lovingly around her waist, and a voice, in kindly tones, said : 

Harriet, my sister, why do you take on so ? Come, cheer up, 
this will do you no good. You should not mind what the children 
say." 

" Ah ! James, I can't help it. I know I am too sensitive for 
my own comfort, and other people's too. James, the thorns on 
young growing trees hurt as much as old dry ones. Please excuse 
me, this evening, from the tea table. Just shut my door after you." 

"Mr. Barton said something to his wife as he passed into the 
dining-room. 

" Poor Harriet," was her answer. 

" James, you must reprove Jack ; indeed you must. * * * 
No, I'll not send Mary, I'll take the tea up myself." 

And Jessie took a small tea tray, and set it near her. As she 
turned to go she stooped and kissed Harriet, saying, " perhaps, if I 
were in your situation, I would feel just the same as you do. But, 
Harriet, we are indebted to you, and we have no other way of 
repaying you but by giving you a home with ourselves." 

Mrs. Barton then hurried down stairs. 

"Come to tea," said Possie. 

" Mary, ain't it ready ?" 

" No, child, it ain't ready. Don't you see. I turned out all the 
water to bathe Miss Harriet's feet ?" and poor Mary bustled about 
taking it upstairs. 

"Pshaw," said Jack, " you and Miss Harriet are two humbugs. 
Then we must wait for more water to boil, before we can get our 
tea; really, its too bad. It would be a good riddance to the house 
if you were both on the other side Jord " 

" Jack," said his father, " silence at once." 

" Why, Mary, aunt is not sick," said Mrs. Barton. " She is 
taking her tea in her room." 

" Please, ma'am, I did think somebody said she was ill. Shure 
and I am sorry I did, I am." 

"Never mind, my good girl," said Mrs. Barton. "Your inten- 
tontions were kind ; we can wait for more water to boil." 

" Pa, pa, tell me a story," said Neddie, as he climbed up on \m 
father's knee. 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



Have you had no story to-day, my pet ?" 
" Yes, pa, but we want one from you." 

Yery well, deary, what shall it be about ? Little cat% or 
little birds ?" 

•'Come, Possie, what is the story to be about?" 
" About a little boy, papa." 

" Neddie, what do you say the story is to be about ?" 
"About somebody gettin' hurted," said Neddie, " not kilt, 
though, mind." 

" Yery well," said their papa, here goes a story about some- 
body getting hurt, but not killed." 

" And they must have a pa and a ma, mind that," suggested 
Possie. 

" As a matter of course," replied Mr. Barton ; but, first, you're 
not to interrupt me." 

''That's just the way you begin your sermons," said Jack. 
" Guess you're thinking about studying first. Now, all be quiet. Go 
on, pa." 

" Well, there was once a little boy who was very fond of playing 
out of doors." 

" Had he a dog, pa ?" 

" I can't say, Neddie. His papa and mamma were not at home, 
so the little boy was having a nice play, but the little boy fell off a 
fence and broke his arm. His nurse heard him cry, ran out to him, 
and carried him into the house. She found one of the 
bones near the wrist was broken. No one was in but a 
little girl, and nobody near to go for a doctor. A 
neighbour came in and advised the nurse to bafhe it in 
warm water, and rub it well with vinegar. The nurse only listened 
to her ; and as soon as she went out, the nurse barred the door, so 
that she would not be disturbed. Then she tore strips of cotton, and 
told the little girl to bring her some laths, and with the little girl's 
assistance, she set the little boy's arm nicely, with small splints and 
cotton. And when his parents came home, he was sleeping nicely 
on the nurse's bed, and she sitting beside him." 

" "Did the little boy die, papa ? " 

" No, Neddy, he was only hurt ; not kilt." 

" Is it a true story, pa ? And did you see him ? " 

" Yes, Possie ; I saw the boy and his nurse^ too." 

"I would like to see that little boy," said Neddie. " Wouldn't 
you, Possie? " 

''Yes," said Possie; "but I would rather seethe nurse." 

" Yery well, children; if you like, I will take you to see them 
after tea. It is early yet." 

So, after tea, Mr. Barton went to his study, telling the children 
to come up for him bye-and-bye, which they did, all dressed. 

" Ah ! so here you are, Neddie, and you, Possie. And there you 
have the iittle boy with you.*' 

Mr. Barton took hold of Jack's arm, and said : 

" Here, Neddie, is the place that was broken. You can feel 
where it united." 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



" Why, pa, was my arm broken once ? " 

" Yes, my son ; feel this place. Now, my Possie, would you 
like to see the nurse. Just follow me ; we will not have far to go." 

So, leading the children, Jack following close behind, they went 
into the next room. 

"There," said Mr. Barton, '^is the nurse who saved my boy's 
life. A more faithful nurse, never lived. She has helped your 
mother doing: and caring for you all. A faithful, loving creature. 
She has waited upon every one of you in sickness and in health, as 
no stranger could have done." 

" Oh ! James, don't talk so," said Aunt Hatt. 

"But I must, my sister. While I sat in my study this after- 
noon, I heard my boy talking to you in such a manner that went to 
my heart sharply. It is time he was made to understand that you 
are under no compliment to us. It is we who are indebted to you. 
I remember well the day I went to mother and coaxed you to come 
and stay with my wife, to be company for her. She was low-spirited 
and ailing, and I had to be away much of the time from home. 
Jack, you remember Cecilia's sickness and death, not two years 
since. Aunt Hatt lame and weak, took the charge of the house, so 
as to allow mamma to be with Cecilia. We could not repay such 
services with money, nor does she want it. All we can do is to be 
kind and respectful to her. Come now, Jack, I must punish you 
while there is hope." 

They were turning to leave the room, when Jack stopped short, 
and in a husky voice, said : 

" Aunt Hatt, I am sorry I treated you so ; you will find me a 
different boy after this." 

" James, James, forgive Jack; do not punish this time." 

" He is too big to be strapped," said Possie. 

" No," said Mr. Barton ; " if he is small enough to be naughty, 
he is not too big to be punished. But, Jack, for your aunt's sake, you 
are forgiven." 

Jack then threw his arms around her neck, saying : 

" I didn't deserve this from you, my dear Aunt Hatt." 

" How very uncertain is our life. How little we know one day 
what the next may be." 

Thus spoke Mr. James Barton as he lay down on the lounge after 
dinner. 

" Jessie," he continued, " did you hear of that shocking murder 
and suicide?" 

" No, James ; I heard nothing about it. Who was it ? and how 
did you hear tell of it ? Tell me." 

"It happened near the town of 1 knew the parties well ; 

Smyth was their name. Mr. Smyth first murders his wife, and then 
commits suicide." 

" Dear me, .Tames, that was awful. It must liave been a case 
of drink or insanity." 

" The Montreal Witness gives it as the doing of that monster 
alcoliol. But, good wife, if I had been near the reporter, when he 
took notes of that, F couki ha\^c told him that drink had little to do 
with it." 



92 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



" What about their family, James ? Did they leave any 
children." 

"Yes; they have several children. The oldest a fine sensible 
lad, but illegitimate. He, I doubt not, would be the bread winner 
of the family. The next is a daughter, just the mother over again. 
Then there are other two younger. What they will do, I don't 
know, as Smyth left no written will." 

" What sort of a family are they, James ; or have they friends to 
look after them?" 

Ah ! Jessie, you are like all good mothers, thinking of the 
children. They were a respectable and well-to-do family, 
and might have been useful members of society. 
Yes ; poor Smyth was a hardworking, good-hearted man. He used 
be a sober man, and, no doubt, would have continue<I so only 
for 



CHAPTER XX. 

" Oh ! pa, pa," said little Possie, as she peeped in, here's Mr. 
Owen wants to see you." 

Mr. Barton rose, saying, " I must go, good wife, I will tell you 
all about tlie Smyths another time." 

After exchanging salutations with his friend, he inquired if he 
had dined. 

"No," replied Mr. Owen, " I have just come off the stage." 

While he sat eating, a messenger came for Mr. Barton. 

" I am sorry I have to leave for a while, but duty calls." 

"Never mind, my good sir," said Mr. Owen, " I dar^ say the 
time will pa.^s pleasantly with the little folks ; so keep your mind 
easy." 

Soon the children gathered I'ound, and their ma left them to 
entertain him for a little. This they were no' wise backward in 
doing." 

" Why didn't you bring your little boy this time, Mr. ? " 

"Oh f I couldn't do that, Possie, they are going to school." 

"Have you a school and church, too, Mr. ?" 

" YeH, Possie, and Sunday school, too." 

" Have you a nice house and garden, too?" 

"Yes; I have a nice houwe, but no garden. T live in the 
city." ^ 

" Have you a play ground, or play house, for your two boy,s 
to play in, Mr.?" 

" No, I haven't; they play in the wood-shed, or the verandah. 
You ought to come and stay with them a few days. Won't you 
come, Neddie ?" 

" No, Mr. ; I can't leave my rabbits ?" 

" Oh, yes, Neddie; Jack will feed them." 

"No, no, Mr.; 1 like my own papa and ray own mama 
ibestest," 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 93 

" Ai'e you going to pieach for our pa ?" said Possie. 
" I dou't know Sissy ; perhaps so." 

" Cause if you do, you'll have to go to the study," said little 
Neddie, " and write your sermon, like you done last time, Mr. 
But our pa has something in his study desk ?" 

Yes, indeed," said Possie, " and you won't guess what it is, 
'cause you haven't the place and our pa has it, in the pulpit, too. 
NTow, you won't guess Mr." • 

But, won't you tell me what it is Possie, or show it to me ? Is 
it a map ?" 

"No, it ain't. Oh ! your a man and can't find what it is. Why, 
Mr,, it's just a little corner for us." 

" Children, you don't mean to say that your papa has you in the 
pulpit when he is preaching, Why, a corner for his children in the 
study, and in the pulpit too. That's what I call an ." 

*'No, Mr., that's not it ; papa calls it children's porrith." At 
this little blunder, Mr. Owen could not repress a laugh. 

" Ah ! Neddie," said Possie, " that's not it either. Pll go and 
ask Aunt Hatt. There now, Neddie, Aunt Piatt says its children's 
portion." 

" Ah ! here is your papa at the door. Well, Mr. Owen, so you 
are enjoying the company of the children. We will now go up to 
the study for a change." 

" Indeed, Mr. Barton, I have been greatly benefitted by their 
childish talk. Why, my good sir, they bring some items to my 
notice which might, with propriety, find a place on the table at our 
Presbytery meetings. You will please have the kindness to explain 
to me, this something 5 ou get up foi? children in this study; although 
I have a guess, still L may be wrong." 

" I will do so with pleasure, Mr. Owen, for I believe something 
is gained by exchange of sentiment and system. You see I did not 
spend as much time preparing for the ministry as I ought. Much 
time was wasted over medical studies, though I find that useful 
too." 

" Go on, Mr. Barton," said the other, setting himself to receive 
instructions. 

I have made a practice of preparing a small part of each ser- 
mon for the chil'dren of the congregation. And here, let me remark, 
that children, unlike grown up people, take that part to themselves 
each. Grown up people ai-e far too generous, and give most of 
the sermon away, children are not so. What I prepare for them is 
just the sermon, made short and simple. Sometimes it is in the mid- 
dle, and sometimes at the end of the sermon. I always call their 
attention by a short pause ; and then beginning with, ' now little 
ones,' I generally make some illustration, or repeat some bible 
story, just to fix the subject on their minds. It does not lake long, 
only a few minutes. Why, sir, the children look and watch for their 
part to come ; of course when there are few or no children their part 
is omitted." 

"Very good, Mr. Bai'ton, but tell me how do your ])arishioners 
like it." 



94 



NOTHINa LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



" Oh, very well, those who have children especially. There 
were a few who objected to this mode. They thought that I under- 
rated my calling, and that I might employ my time better than by 
talking to children. However, they were soon silenced, when I 
told them my Divine Master thought it no waste of time to speak 
to children, and my orders from Him were to feed His lambs. Chil- 
dren were a part of the congregation, and if children were to have 
no benefit from the service, why are they brought there. Indeed, 
Mr. Owen, I think it hard and unkind to take little children to 
meeting, and cause them to sit still and keep awake while the 
preacher delivers a long discom'se to their parents and others, in 
which they, poor little things, ha^e neither part nor lot." 

''Just so, Mr. Barton, that brings to my mind the first time I 
was brought to church. I dare say I was four years old. I got a 
good many charges to be quiet, to keep awake, and not to speak. 
During the service my father gave me a copper, soon a man held a 
plate before me with a lot of coppers on it, and, of course, I thought 
they were for me. My bashfulness was the only thing that kept me 
from helping myself As I opened my hand and looked at my cop- 
j^er my brother whispered in my ear, 'Why didn't you put in your 
copper,' ' Cause,' said I, right out, ' he has got plenty, and pa gave 
me this for sitting still.' I recollect another time when about ten 
years old, our folks used to charge us to sit still and listen to the 
sermon, so as to be able to repeat some when we got home. That 
you know, Mr. Barton, is pretty hard when it is not adapted to a 
child's comprehension. No doubt if the preacher had been like you, 
I might have remembered some, at least, I would have had a better 
chance. However, at dinner my father asked me to repeat all I 
knew of the sermon. But, alas! memory had failed to retain it. I 
tried to bring home a lot, but at that my father raised his hand and 
gave me a sharp remembrancer on the side of my head, 
saying, ' If you had been looking at the minister, 
instead of the people, you would not forget so easily.' 
' I do mind some' said I, ' The wicked shall be turned into hell, 
and all nations that forget — ' ' Forget what ?' said my brother, 
who was inclined to mirth. ' I don't know,' was my reply 'but it 
was not the sermon any way.' ' No,' said my father, ' that was 
only the text'." 

"Ah, do you know, Mr. Owen, it was just some such experience 
as this, that inclined me to think, and plan something for the young," 
said Mr. Barton. " You see, let a boy or girl take a dislike to church 
going, and it is hard to reconcile them or overcome that dislike. Of 
course, parents must use their authority and also show by their own 
example that it is a duty and privilege for all parties to be regular in 
their pews on the Sabbath." 

" Mr. Barton, what do you say of those who allow their childj-en 
to stay at home for any trifling little thing ? One does not feel 
quite well enough, another finds the service too long ; one pleads 
that her dress is soiled and not fit, another does not feel like going 
in such weather, but promises to read the bible all the time the 
rest are away at church, only let him stay at home. One, her side 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



95 



pains, when she tries to sit still, another has the headache, and 
that makes them feel heavy in church." 

" I can't say, Mr. Owen, there are exceptions. Delicate children 
have to be treated as such. Their parents ought to be the best 
judges, However, there is a great deal of pretension amongst the 
young. I recollect, when I was about twelve years of age, I, began 
to take a dislike to church, and would freq^uently form an excuse. 
Father,' I said, one day, ' I don't think I can walk to church this 
morning.' ' All right,' said he, / you can ride in the cart.' 'But, 
father, the cart shakes so, that it is worse than walking.' ' Yery 
well,' he said, ' say no more about it' About an hour after this, 
father, looking towards the lake, remarked : ' The wind is blowing 
towards the land. Now, who will volunteer to run to the point and 
see if there is any sign of the missing boat,' for sometimes they get 
washed ^ashore and the fishermeij get them again. ' I'll go, father,' 
I said. How can you,' replied my father, ' it's too far.' 'No it 
ain't, father, I'll run most of the way.' ' Jimmie,' said he, 'you will 
go to church to-day. That is not quite so far, and to-mor- 
row you will run to the point.' Well, sir, I never shirked 
going to church after that. I do think we would be justified if we 
did deviate from the old beaten track, I mean what is called the old 
school rule, and put a little more life into our service." 

" I don't see how that can be done," replied Mr, Owen, with- 
out conflicting with the orthodoxy of the present system of worship. 
I like youi* sermon system. The prayers, perhaps, might be short- 
ened, although, before all the wants and cases of the people are men- 
tioned, though not too long for experienced Ohristians. Still I know 
a great many will complain of long prayers. Some come to hear t 
and be heard, while others only come to see and be seen. Still it is 
better to come even for a vain end, than not to come at all. Now, 
as I said, I liked your plan of a corner for the children in the study, 
or pulpit. What about a corner at the family altar." 



CHAPTEE XXI. 

"You are right, Mr. Owen, I confess I have been more taken 
up getting something to say to themj still, owing to a little incident, 
I find my thoughts turning more to the subject of prayer, lately. 
We teach children to pray." 

" Yes, Sir, there is something wonderful in the efficacy of 
grace in this new life. W© teach children, and before we have done 
they turn round and teach us. I had been sitting here, one day, 
deploring in my own mind the low state of religion among my 
people, when my little boy came running in and crept close to me, 
and looking up in my face, said : ' Papa, I want to speak. Pa, 
didn't .Jesus heal lots of people that was sick, and lots of lame people 
too, when Ho was down hero long ago, if they asked Him ? And, 
pa, can't JcHus do any more?' 'Yes/ I said, 'Jesus can, Neddie, 
but long ago was the age of miracles. Now is the ago of means, 



96 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



but yon are too young to understand that.' ' Am I too j^oung, pa ? ' 
was his answer. ' Why, papa, you said to the children, one day, 
when you was preaching, that Jesus liked the little boys and girls 
to pray to Him as well as big mans and womans. Say, pa, do ask 
Jesus to cure Aant Hatt. Couldn't you ask Lo-night at worship ? 
-Do ask, pa ; speak it out quite plain, 'cause I promised Aunt Hatt 
once that we would.' Oh ! Sir, there is something touching in the 
simplicity of a child's faith. I supp9se your congregation is more 
of the upper class ? Mine are mostly farmers, but, I may say, that 
half of my hearers are women and children. Perhaps, I am a little 
fanciful, but I sometimes like to classify my people, because each 
one has duties to perform. Is that not so, Brother Owen ?" 

" Yes, my dear Sir," replied Mr. Owen. "A sermon that is 
not practical, and does not admonish to duty, is of little use. A 
personal application, an earnest appeal to the hearts and consciences 
of our hearers, regarding their every day life, is far superior to a 
long sermon, no matter how eloquent, in which the speaker is more 
likely to please than to benefit. My mind has been exercised of late 
with the subject of prayer. I would like to hear your opinion. Oh ! 
sir, none of us realize as we ought the solemn position we occupy, 
when on our beaded knees before the great and dreadful God. We 
believe in the inspiration of the Spirit, of course. I don't mean as 
the prophets of old, to foretell events, nor yet to add to the Scrip- 
tures, because that is complete. But, does not the Spirit sometimes, 
aye oft times, bear upoJi two individuals alike, inspiring them with 
thoughts of God. Thoughts of immortality or it may be our 
responsibility ? -What say you ? " 

" Yes, yes, Mr. Owen, I anticipate you, the Spirit which so 
inspires, has inspired us both to think of prayer. And the Provi- 
dence of God has brought us together to consider this precious 
privilege. Let us first look to our Master's rule, called the Lord's 
Prayer. It is short, yet what does it not contain or include. So 
was that other example. He left us. ' God be merciful to me a 
sinner;' and the man went away justified more than the proud 
pharisee." 

" There are some facts about the Lord's Prayer, brother Barton, 
perhaps you have noticed them as well as I. We first address ' Our 
Father, who art in Heaven,' and who puts those words in our 
mouth ? Our Brother, our elder Brother. Let us not be irreverent 
nor use language unworthy of Him in our approaches. Since the 
very first petition is 'Hallowed be thy name.' Oh ! Sir, we should 
bear in mind, that through all that prayer, not once does the dreadful 
name of God occur. Surely we might take the hint, and repeat 
that name as seldom as possible in our prayers and conversations. 
What think you of the next ? " 

" I think as you do," replied M.r. Barton. " The two next 
petitions may be taken as one. How seldom it is that anyone 
prefers the will of God to his own. Mr. Owen, you recollect a few 
years ago, a great drought prevailed, and it was feared that there 
would be a failure of the crops. A poor, hard working farmer came 
to me lamenting the state of things. ' Well,' I said, ' we need rain, 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



9? 



and if it's God's will, shall have it.' ' Oh ! ' he said, ' I have prayed 
for rain, prayed night and day.' 'Not an hour passed that he did not 
pray. He was incessantly praying, and the burden of his prayer 
was : * Send us rain.' ' My dear Sir, I don't think you are justified,' 
I said, ' in being so urgent foi- rain. God is not a man, nor you His 
equal, that He should yield to your every caprice. Would it not be 
better^ if you in a humble, and submissive spirit, should say, 'even 
if famine should follow, I will bear the indignation of the Lord, for 
I have sinned.' He can give the increase without rain, or give the 
rain, and withhold the increase. Too often we say : ^ Thy will bo 
done,' when we would fain have it parallel with our will. Only one 
petition referring to the things of this life, which confirms to us, 
that precept, ' Seek ye first the Kingdom of God.' Of other bless- 
ings Christ says: 'Your Father knoweth that you have need of 
them.' " 

" Now, Mr. Owen, it is your time ; what do you say of the 
next one ? " 

I believe," replied Mr. Owen, " there is a great deal to be 
learned from the short petition : ' And forgive us our sins.' How 
short and plain. How will that compare with the prayers of many 
a one, earnest and anxious they may be, as they lengthen out that 
petition. ' Forgive us all our sins and iniquities, pardon all our 
crimes and rebellion against Thee. Wash a,way all our transgres- 
sions, and remember not our shortcomings.' As if they feared God 
might not understand that short prayer, ' torgive us our sins.' Or 
do they think to be heard for their much speaking. And, again, 
* forgive us as we forgive.' So much is said about forgiving others, 
that it is stated here as the condition on which we would be for- 
given. Oh ! how much need we have of cultivating a forgiving 
spirit." 

" Ycry true," replied Mr. Barton, "but what you said about 
lengthening out that petition. No doubt that is the case oftener than 
it need be. Still, my good brother, let you and! closely examine 
ourselves, and we will find that the offal of our service is more than 
what is fit for His altai*. Again, God is a spirit; His thoughts are 
far above ours. He may not look witli such scrutiny upon the ser- 
vices his creatures offer to him so long as they really desire to 
worship him. Still, I agree with you that our words should be few 
and well ordered." 

" But, what say you about our posture in prayer — I mean in 
public. Ik every one to choose for themselves— sit, stand or kneel, as 
they like ?" 

Keally, I don't know, brother; I never thought of that betore. 
I think our people all stand, But, of course, my eyes are closed 
when J am leading in worship. You are older than I; what pos- 
ture do you believe to be the most scriptural? " 

''You're smiling, Mr. Barton. Havel said anything out of the 
way?" 

" Why, no," replied Mi-. Barton, " I was just thinking of a little 

circumstance that occurred when 1 was in charge of Church, 

in the city. 1 was leaving my vestry, one day, when I met Walter 



98 



NOTHING LIKE BLA.CK ON WHITE. 



Noel, a hearer of mine. He was rather weak minded or simple. 
After the usual salutation!^, I asked him how he enjoyed the services 
the day before. ' Oh,' he said, ' I didn't like it at all. That was not 
a good man that preached for you — he kept his eyes open.' 'Walter,' 
said I, ' that was all right ; I keep mine open, too, when I am 
preaching." ' But,' yaid Walter, ' he keeps his eyes open when 
praying.' ' That's strange, Walter,' said I. ' Was he looking for 
anyone, or did he not shut them sometimes ? ' ' No, sir ; he had his 
eyes open all through every prayer, and he was not looking for any 
one, but just straight before him. It was very wicked for him, Mr. 
Barton, was it not? And when he pronounced the benediction, he 
opened his eyes wider than ever.' ' But, Walter,' said I, ' Who told 
you.' ' Oh, nobody,' said Walter, ' I saw him myself.' ' Saw him,' 
I said, ' then your eyes must have been open, too. Oh, Walter, Wal- 
ter, that was very wicked of you — doing the very thing which you 
condemned others for. W^altcr,' said I, 'it don't matter much about 
the eyes, if the heart and mind are lifted up.' " 

" Well, Mr. Barton, we were speaking about posture at worship. 
It seems to me that kneeling with the face down is the most becom- 
ing for the creature man before the Creator of all, except where 
they arc crowded, then they can only stand. I would like if a 
congregation could all adopt one way; for my own part I am in 
favour of kneeling and short earnest prayer." 

" We are like-minded, Mr. Owen. I can't forget the rebuke 
poor W'alter gave his master, whose prayers were apt to be lengthy. 
At one of our prayer meetings I had called upon Mr. Dean to 
engage in prayer; his prayer was long. Walter thought to remind 
him by saying amen, but it only made Dean more zealous. Once 
more Walter repeated 'amen, amen, and amen,' but Dean kept on. 
Walter gave up, quietly sat down, opened his bible, and read to him- 
self. So, after the meeting, Walter was walking away from the 
church. Dean and his wife being alongside, Walter tapped his master 
on the arm, saying, ' that was a wonderful prayer of yours.' ' Do 
you think so,' was his answer, 'I am glad you enjoyed it.' At this 
a new idea seemed to strike Walter. He stood out in the middle of 
the sidewalk, looked his master full in the face : ' Why, was it to 
please me you kept on ? Then you would have done me a kindness 
to have stopped the first time I said amen, and you would have had 
the rest for your own fireside.' 'Oh! Walter,' said Mr. Dean, 'I 
was just thinking I must have family worship at home, but now 
you have put a damper on my ardor. You are the only one who 
ever faulted my devotions for being too long.' ' Why, master, 
didn't you read about the Pharisees' long prayers ? Man, dear, do 
you think God has nothing else to do but listen to your long yarns?' 
said Walter. ' If you made a petition to the President or the Queen, 
you would have it shorter and more systematic. Such a long, 
rambling prayer; you might have said it in half the words.' Poor 
Walter had a character of his own. He would speak so blunt some- 
times. His very presence was a check, often, on exuberant talk. 
' Come, come,' he would say, ' keep off the enemies' ground.' His 
own greatest failing was drink. He would get on the spree for a 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



99 



few dajs, and then he would come, so repentant and grieved for 
what he had done, begging me to pray for him, and when he became 
a member, he feared to drink of the cup of communion, lest it 
should create a thirst for drink or rather liquor. Yes, though weak- 
minded, Walter is growing in grace, for God hath chosen " 

have often thought," remarked Mr. Owen, '-that none of us 
avail ourselves of the great privilege of prayer as we might. 
Among the common people the trouble seems to be the want of 
words to express their meaning, when addressing God in an audible 
voice, and that embarrassment takes away the sweet sense of near- 
ness to God. Don't you think, if each one for themselves would 
draw up a form of prayer suitable to their wants, and commit it to 
memory, then they could make any change they wished after, as 
they got more experience?" 

Do you know," said Mr. Barton, that a great many of our 
strict Presbyterians would no more use a form of prayer than they 
would a rosary. There is something very beautiful in family prayer. 
A father takes his children and kneels down with them while he in- 
vokes a blessing on each child. He thanks God for all they enjoy 
now, and prays God to forgive the sins of each child, and to give 
them grace to subdue their little passions, make them dutiful and 
affectionate children. I often think if family worship partook more 
of a miscellaneous nature, children would both learu' and benefit by 
it. What do you say ? " 

" I say you are always trying to make religion gladsome to 
children, Barton." 

''Yes, Sir," was his answer. 

" The Master did so." 
We change one of our characters." 

" Mr. Barton, I want to rent that farm-house of yours. What 
do you ask?" 

" Six dollars a month is what I have had for it; but, Mr. White, 
what do you want that house for ? " 

" I want it for a tavern. You are aware that a man came all the 

way from , and has opened a bar near us. He will not even 

buy his stuft* from us, though he could have it cheaper than where 
begets it." 

" One too many, Mr. White." 

" Never mind ; a bar here, in Willow Yale, will help to make him 
shut up shop." 

'* But, Ml". White, you have one already down town." 

" I know I have: but 1 must have one on this stage road, too — 
'twould pay, you see. I pay a high figure for duty, license, and such 
like. Yes, I must make a push this winter. Hard times, you know." 

'' Mr. White, you can't have my house for a bar. You may have 
it for a dwelling or grocery; but not for a tavern." 

'' I don't see what right you have to dictate to me, so long as I 
pay you." 

" Ijisten to me, Mr. White, I use my voice against the traffic. 
And do you Kupposo I could let my house for such a purpose, and 
expect a blessing. No ! " 



100 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



" Bay no more ; say no more about it," then replied Mr. White, 
in an angry tone. " I hope every stick you OAvn will be burned down 
before spring, and your family all go to the bad, and yourself, too, 
Mr. Barton. That's all the blessing I have for you." 

And in anger Mj\ White departed. 



CHAPTEE XXII. 

For our better acquaintance with the Smyth ftimily, fancy, 
reader, that you and [ are quietly looking on. 

''Now, you just stay hei'c, .Jessie, until I call for you. I will 
be going back home in an hour or so." And James Barton let his 
wife out of the cutter. 

As she stood a minute to shake the snow off her feet, a young- 
man cro.ssed the road, and in a respectful manner expressed his gra- 
titude for her kindness in calling to see his sister. He then led her 
into the house, gave her a chair, and went to call his sister. 
Here is the good lady come to see you, Betty." 

lie then went hack to his work while they sat talking. Eeader, 
];erhaps we had better lot Mrs. Barton help tell the story. 

" While we sat talking a little girl came into the room. I called 
the child to me to speak to hej', but Betty, in a loud and angry tone 
ordered her out, calling her an impudent, dirty thing to come before 
a lady unwashed and uncombed. 

" Oh ! " I said, " poor child; I don't mind that." 

" But," said Betty, " I'll make her mind. Indeed, ma'am they 
havn't a bit of mannei-s." 

In a few moments the door next me was pushed open, and in 
walked the child again — the front of her hair combed, and the back 
standing on end; ho- face washed, leaving a dark margin ; her feet 
stockingless and dirty, set into a pair of new slippers — while, at 
the door opposite, another child peeped in to see what welcome her 
sister got. The sight was so ludicrous, I could hardly contain 
myself. But there was no smile on Betty's face. 

" Mrs. Barton," said she, "just look at the brutes; what dirty 
little dogs they are. They're the worst behaved children I ever 
saw, — and so disobedient. They won't do a thing for me. Choke 
them, they arc worse than hogs, and my brother is soft enough to 
spoil them." 

Pity for them was choking me. 

" Miss Smyth," said I, " I see your supper is on the table. Just 
go on with it." 

" Won't you take some with us ?" she asked. 
I said "I would, if it gave no trouble." 

"No, no," said she, '' I only wish there was something better 
for so good a lady." 

So, in a few minutes, 1 was seated at the table with Betty and 
Zach. 

" Have the little girls had their supper ?" i ventured to ask. 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



161 



" No," said Betty," " they'll get their's after." 
IJwould be sorry if they stayed away on my account, Miss 
Smjrth. J I would like to see them at the table, if you have no objec- 
tions."! 

Zach took the hint, cleared his throat, and called out : " Come 
in to tea, girls." 

" Zach, stop that I" said Betty, " you are always interfering; you 
know the girls are so rude : they've got to wait." 

" Oh," I said, " won't you forgive them for my sake, and let 
them sit at the table ? They will learn better if they come, but 
not if they are kept back." 

" Call them in, Zach," said she. " Call them a little louder, 
you old fool, why don't you ?" 

"Please," said Zach, "don't talk so cross," as he rose to call 
them. 

Soon they were seated at the table. 

"Now," said Betty, "the first one that misbehaves, I'll twi^it 
your neck.!' 

Poor Zach, fearful of a scene, whispered a word of kindly warn- 
ing, and was giving them jam and cake. 

" Ah, Zach, you're quite a gentleman to-day. I never knew you 
to help anyone but yourself, before," said his sister, in a sarcastic 
tone. Then raising her voice. " There, you blockhead, you've 
served them, and left the lady to the last. It's just like you, 
Zach." 

" Oh, Betty, never mind," I said; " I am glad to see him so 
kind to his little sisters — and you've plenty on the table, too." 

" Yes," was her answer, "and not a thing fit to eat." Then to 
the girls: " Did I not tell you to stop whispering. If you want 
more, take it." 

" Zach, I wish you would deal in some other store where you'd 
get good groceries. They've nothing good in that old store. Bother 
to y©u, Zach, don't shake the table so. Such stuff, that tea is mixed 
with old leaves ; I know it is, and there is sand in the sugar, I'm 
sure. Old cheats they are with their light weights." 

" Well," said Zach, " we'll not buy any more there." 

" Goodness, I don't care where you buy, Zach, but don't tell me 
that they could cut such a dash in their great hoops and crinoline, 
silks and gew-gaws if they didn'i cheat. Have a little more apple- 
pie, Mrs. Barton. Gracious me, it isn't half cooked." 

"Oh! yes," I replied, "its all right. This piece is beautifully 
cooked, and I must disagree with you, for I do like your tea. These 
little girls must be company for you, now that your mother is gone, 
Miss Smyth." 

" Company," said she, " charming company 1 I wish'd they 
were nowhere." Then, turning to the girls, " Why, is it possible I 
You dirty little toads, you came to tea with such begrimmed hands? 
Zach, where were your eyes ? Don't know how it is, Mrs. Barton, 
but Zach and I arc so very different. I like to have every one clean, 
and be clean myself But him, my gracious, he could live in a pig 
sLye, and them girls, ihoy are like him, soft soots, they are." 

7 



102 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



Mrs. Barton started up saying, I beg your pardon. There is 
my husband, I must not keep him waiting." 

" Betty," said Zach, " I think I will go up with them, and see 
that small house near Willow Yale." 

" Yes," said Mrs. Barton, ^' you would do well to secure it, and 
perhaps the ownei* would put up a workshop for you." 

" And, of course," sard Betty, " the house will be like a stable 
to clean. Never mind, it will be a change out of the cauldron into 
the fire." 

Poor Betty, it seemed a part of her being to find fault. The 
habit had grown with her growth, and matured with her maturity. 

" I am glad you came up with us, Zach, and now tell me can I 
do anything for you ?" 

^'No — yes — I don't know." said Zach. Then after a few minutes 
silence, " You are aware, Mr. Barton, that my father left no will and 
that I can claim nothing. My poor sister often reminds me of 
that." 

"Do not trouble yourself about that," replied Mr. Barton. 
" There is one thing the law can't take from you, and that is your 
character. It is no fault of yours, though it may be a misfortune 
that you are illegitimate. Grood moralit}^ good principles, are far 
superior to a birthright. Zach, my poor boy, I am interested in you, 
and you may put all confidence in us, for, be assured, you have our 
sympathy and prayers." 

" Have I ?" said Zach. " Then I would like your advice. Shall 
I stay on with my sisters, or shall I leave them. Mrs. Barton, you 
have seen what I have to contend with." 

" I have, I have," replied the lady, " and wish I could correct 
the evil. How to influence your sister I don't know, but 1 must 
try." 

"I don't know," said Zach. "She has a very unhappy disposi- 
tion, and the little girls have got so accustomed to be scolded that 
they don't mind it. They are hardened to it. You would not think 
so, ma'am; but they are warm-hearted creatures, and with a little 
kindness would be led better." 

" Well, Zach," said Mr. Barton, "if you wish to leave I can get 
the two little girls into the Orphans' Home." 

Zach thought a minute [ " Oh ! no sir, I ean't think of them 
going. Oh, if Betty would change, I could work late and early for 
them. They should never want a home while I live. My little 
orphan sisters." 

Ten days later, at Smyth's once more. 

" G-ood morning, Miss Smyth, I hope I see you well." 

" Yes, ma'am," said she. " I was just going to try if I could go 
up and see the house Zach is taking. I would have gone yesterday 
only for the snow storm. I don't know how it is, but just as sure as 
I ready myself to go out, it is sure to blow and storm. No matter 
how the sun shines, when I don't care to go out; but when I want 
to go out, then it is bUre to rain or snow. Such confounded weather ; 
its enough to provoke a saint, so it is." 

" I beg your pardon, Betty, but I came to speak to you on a 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



very serious matter; but I can't, unless I get your consent. I would 
like to talk to you in real friendship, just as if you were my own 
daughter. May I do so ?" 

" Why, I suppose so," said Betty. 

"Then tell me, did you ever read the New Testament?" 
''I should think I did," she replied, " and the Old, too, for that 
matter." 

" And you read of the dear Saviour, healing the sick, and curing 
some who were afflicted with evil spirits ?" 

" Yes," replied Betty, " but, of course, very strange things 
happened long ago, and ministers don't agree about it either." 
Then to one of the girls : " Goodness, didn't I tell you to stay out. 
I'll " 

"But Betty, it won't." 

" Then let it run, and don't you stand prating there ; go fetch 
in some wood for the stove. Mercy, such wood; just look, its 
soaked with water. Zach, give her some dry splints. What a shame 
for people to sell such stuff." 

" You forget," said Zach, " that we got that wood for nothing." 

" My goodneps, Zach, but your sharp, and I should not wonder 
if — Ah, you clumsy thing ; just look at the floor after me sweep- 
ing it " 

Here, again, tne little voice came in at the door. " Oh ! it 
won't stop, and I think she is going to die." 

At that, Betty gav^e a scream, and rushed into the kitchen, 
followed by Zach and Mrs. Barton. There, indeed, was the poor 
child, half leaning over a wash tub. She was very pale and weak 
from the loss of blood. The tub was half filled with water deeply 
stained with blood. 

"Save, oh ! save my sister," wailed the distressed Betty. "You 
must save her," Mrs. Barton. 

" I must first know," replied Mrs. Barton, " if the child is sub- 
ject to the nosebleed, or is it a hurt ? If it is an artery, I can do 
little for it." 

"No, no, Mrs. Barton. She is not subject to the nosebleed at 
all, and I didn't mean to hurt her ; and now, you'll think I killed 
her. Oh ! can't you do something to stop the bleeding ? Oh ! 
gracious sake, what will I do ? What will I do ?" 

" Tell me, first, what you did to her, Miss Smyth ?" 

" I was just combing her hair, and every time I pulled she 
would turn up her face and say that hurts. I was bothered, and I 
just gave her a punk with my fist between her eyes, and before I 
was done combing, her nose began to bleed. Sure as death, I didn't 
mean to strike her. Oh ! what will I do, Mrs. Barton ?" 

"The first thing for you to do. Miss Smyth, is to calm yourself. 
Sit down and watch me." 

Mrs. Barton then took the child and set her on a chair, as she 
was too weak to stand. Betty, in her ignorance, had told her to lean 
over the tub till it would stop. Mrs. Barton told her not to be 
frightened, and raised her hand above her head, and wiped the little 
stained face with a cold wet cloth. Then she felt her feet ; they 



104 NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITiE. 



were very cold. So, with her own hands, she bathed them with 
warm water, and then drew on her little stockings and boots. 

Mrs. Barton requested Betty to get a pillow and coverlet. 
While she was gone for them, Zach told Mrs. Barton that Betty 
scarcely ever slapped the girls ; this was quite accidental. 

" There," said the kind lady ; " she is 'ill right now, and I see 
you have baked some apples ; just give her a little taste on a saucer, 
and then let her rest. She may be weak for a few days, because she 
has lost so much blood." 

« My goodness, Zach," said Betty, " why couldn't you have 
carried out that tub, and not have dear Mrs. Barton sitting beside it ? 
Such carelessness; 1 am ashamed of you, you great booby." 



CHAPTEE XXIII. 

The path of duty was plain to the pastor's wife, as she sent up 
a silent prayer to God. 

" Miss Smyth, the bleeding bas stopped now," she said ; " but I 
warn you it may bleed again with little to cause it, and may not be 
stopped so easily next time. Now, I am goiDg to ask you a few 
p}ain questions. First : whom did you intend Ihe blow for that 
started the nose bleeding ? " 

" Intend it for? Oh, my gracious sake, I didn't intend it for 
anybody, that punk. It was just because I was bothered. I didn't 
think. I seldom do that ; I only jaw them," she said, laughing, 
"and jawing don't hurt," 

•*I believe you," replied the lady. 

" Now tell me what I should do if I saw a terrible reptile wind- 
ing around your body, slowly, but surely, tightening as it neared 
your throat, and charming the children with its deadly influence ? " 

Miss Smyth opened her mouth and fairly stared. 

" Mercy ! I don't know. There is nothing so bad about here, 
that I see. But can't they ever be pulled off? " 

" But, Betty, wouldn't you think me very rude and impolite, if 
I tried to pull the horrid thing off you? Wouldn't you be angry at 
me trying to save " 

"No, ma'am; I wouldn't. My gracious, I didn't get angry 
when you saved my sister, did I ? (Then to the other little girl) : 
Why don't you go and find something to do, you good-for-nothing, 
and don't stand watching me. Go and shut the door." 

Zach who suspected what was up, called the child to come and 
turn the grindstone for him. 

''Mrs. Barton," said Betty, "you think that I drink, and will 
take delirium tremens, just because you saw a bottle on the table. 
Why, bless me, that's vinegar. I was using it to stop the nose-bleed. 
We never have liquor in the house. My poor father never brought 
it in either, though he did sometimes go out to drink ; but if 

Here the poor girl burst out sobbing. 

" My dear," said Mrs. Barton, "I know very well you don't 
drink. But that is not the only evil wc have to shun." 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



105 



" Then tell me what it is, for I mind you beginning to say some- 
thing about evil spirits, when we were sitting in the room." 

Yes, my friend, it is an evil spirit, and it often makes you un- 
happy. But Christ can cast it out if you lay your case before Him. 
It is a bad habit you have of constant scolding and finding fault. 
You, a little while ago, called it jaw ; but you were astray, when you 
said it did not hurt. I know it did not seem to you that you broke 
two ol Grod's commands. The one commandment requires everyone 
to perform the duties devolving upon them to each other. Your 
duty is to be gentle and kind to those younger than yourself ; affec- 
tionate and respectful to your brother, as he is the oldest." 

"But, my goodness," she exclaimed, "don't you know he is a 
bastard ? " 

" Ah ! Miss Sm^^th, that's a coarse term. I hope you are not so 
ungallant as to remind him of that. He is working for you all — a 
good lad. See that you respect him as the head of the house. The 
other command is the third. It requires us to use, with reverence, 
all Grod's names or titles ; but these you have taken to scold or jaw 
with. Merciful ; Goodness ; Grracious, are titles of the Supreme." 

" My Gra— — said the poor Ci'eature, every body talks that way. 
We working people could not talk plain soft words, we must " 

" Stop, my dear," said Mrs. Barton. He who gave us the use of 
speech, said, ' Let your yea be yea, and your nay be nay, for what- 
soever is more than these, cometh of evil.' " 

" But I never curse or swear, or use God's name." 

" Dear girl, will you read Ex. 35 and 6 verse ? Believe me, it is 
all a habit some get into, and you can throw it off, if you like. 
Neither does scolding mend matters." 

" Well," said she, " when things come against me I must let 
off, I can't hold quiet, when I am vexed. Am I to choke ?" 

" Will you try my plan, Miss Smyth ?" 

" I don't know, what is it?" 

" If you must scold, and will scold, and can't hold in, when you're 
vexed, my advice is, to go away out of hearing, and let off, as you 
call it, where no one will be the worse. It must affect the girls, and 
this constant fretting must make Zach unhappy. What if he should 
leave you ?" 

" I can't help it," she said, " mother jawed more than I do, and 
she was a good woaian. She. was for ever jawing somebody. One 
gets used to it, and if Zach leaver, I'd take a situation." 

"Tlien, my girl, you must break off' that habit, for no stranger 
would take it from you. Your employer would never put up with 
it, no matter what position you held. A fault-finding habit is sure 
to bring discord into a house besides ; it is a low vulgar way for 
any woman, more so for a young person like you. I want to see 
you happy, I want to save you from misery in this life, and the next. 
You cannot be ignorant, that it was this bad habit, in your 
mother that drove your father to commit the crime he did, and 
deprived you of both your parents in one day." 

" Ah, Mrs. Barton, you're mistaken. My poor, dear father, hap- 
pened to go out and take a gla^s too much, which made him crazy 
for a while. Ho didn't know what ho was doing at the time," 



106 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



" Mies Smyth, why did he drink ? You know he cared nothing 
for liquor. Your mother was a good-hearted, clever woman, only 
for this one failing. Incessant fretting has a bad effect on the 
nervous system. You have seen one terrible result in the death of 
your parents." 

Mrs. Barton then moved her chair close to Betty, and passing 
her arm round her waist, took her hand. 

" Poor girl, I feel for you. You have a great charge . But pro- 
mise that you will break off scoldiug, and also of criticising others. 
Say nothing about others that you would not like said about your- 
self. I know you can, if you only make an effort, for I see signs of 
reformation already. You would not believe it, I dare say. I have 
noticed, with pleasure, that you have not used these titles of the 
most high God, since I told you it was wrong." 

If I do change, they will talk about me, and perhaps make 
game of me and that will anger me," said Betty. 

" If they do talk about you, (which I don't believe they will) 
which of the two evils would be the worst. Talked about for doing 
what is right, or talked about for doing wrong ? Besides, you must 
learn to bear from others, as they have borne from you. There is 
much about a house that can be managed to further, instead of hinder- 
ing a reformation. Ah, don't halt, decide at once, Betty. Will 
you try to be gentle ?" 

" I will try," was the answer, " but if I forget or fail ?" 

" Try again, just." 

" Then, God help me," was all she could say. 

Mrs. Barton pressed a kiss on her forehead, saying : My dear 
friend, God always helps those who call upon Him, and make an 
effort to help themselves. Now, call in Zach; this reform must b€ 
mutual, must be in earnest." 

The girl stepped to a side door, and in a tremulous voice called, 
Zach, come here ; we want you a minute." 

When he entered, Mrs. Barton addressed him : Zach, your 
sister sees her error, and is now minded to turn over a new leaf. 
Will you encourage her by assisting her all you can, or will you 
laugh and make light of her efforts ?" 

Zach could not answer in words until he clasped his sister to 
his bosom ; and in a voice choking with glad emotion, said: "My 
own, my own good-hearted sister, I will help you all I can ; and y ou 
will help me to overcome ray faults, for you have had much to bear 
from me too." And the little agreement was sealed with a kiss. 

The sleeping child opened her eyes to behold her brother and 
sister embracing each other, and promising to make each other 
happy. 

"Oh !" said the child, " was I dead ? Was I dreaming ? Oh, 
is it heaven ? I wish it was. Oh, dear, I wish my hair would never 
tug so; I 'most wish it was off." 

As her hair was none of the best, Mrs. Barton suggested that it 
would be well to shingle it. 

Quickly, Betty produced a pair of scissors. When it was done, 
she kissed her. 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



101 



'•Live, darling; live, darling," she said; "I'll be cross no 
mjre." 

" Yes," whispered the little one, " and I'll be good too. Won't 
I, because I was dreaming about heaven ? Zach and you and every- 
body was talking so gentle. Oh, Betty, it sounded so nice." 

Miss Smyth did overcome her besetting sin, and with that, what 
a changed household ? Everything prospered better. The poor 
creature must have had many a struggle, and no doubt often failed. 
She became a conqueror, and so will everyone who, seeing their own 
faults, will endeavor to obtain the victory over them. 

We will now turn to Uncle William's big kitchen — so called 
because of its old-fashioned fire-place. Uncle William, who is ailing 
with a bad cold, keeps his place on the bunk near the fire. Grannie 
and Eobina are clearing up the dinner dishes. Nellie is little errand 
girl between them, doing this and doing that. 

Mother," said William, "I don't see any use trying to give 
Bobert a trade. He does not seem to care for anything past farm- 
ing. I. thought if he would learn the saddler trade, that Jim and he 
might commence business together some day. I sent him to trj it 
for a week, but I don't believe he will finish it." 

Well, William, I would not -stick to one trade. I would let 
him choose for himself" 

" Just so, mother; i must talk to him about it. I don't want 
to force the boys to learn a trade they do not like. I believe that is 
the reason there are so many half-taught mechanics. 

" Yes, William ; I often think there is nothing degrading about 
labor. Christ ennobled it, since he, too, learned the carpenter 
business." 

" Ah ! mother if Langfords aud Whites had only thought as 
you do, poor George would not now be so shiftless and degraded. 
But he was taught from his infancy to despise work. The Whites 
were such a go-ahead set, they thought nothing would do for 
Susie's son but a profession. He quit school the year his father 
died, the very year he should have been at a trade, which would 
have enabled him to earn something now." 

" Oh ! do you know what a lady told me last week pa ;" said 
Eobina. 

"Something wonderful, of course," replied her father. 

" Well, it was true any way, pa. She was just starting for church 
one day when her husband, who was stopping at home, on account 
of some ailment, called out 'mind the collection,' and gave her his 
purse, which she put in her pocket. When the collection plate was 
passing r<jund she opened the purse, and finding that it contained a 
number of silvei' pieces of difteront value, she searched for a small 
piece, found one and put it on the plate, and put the purse safe back 
in her pocket." 

" Well, Eobina, that was all right. It may be that she had a 
groat deal to jo with her money. We are not required to give all to 
the church." 

"Oh! no, pa ; but wait till I tell you. Her purse was stolen, 
or lost out of her pocket, on her way homo, and that happened twice. 



108 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



So she told me she never would search her purse for small money 
lor the church again." 

" Eobina, I hear the gate open." 

"Yes, pa," said she, "its cousin Jack and Aunt Jessie." 
" See, grandma," said Jack, " I have brought you a needle 
woman." 

" Say, Uncle Bill, where's Jim ?" 

" He is in the woods getting out posts to fence his field." 
"Is Jim going on his own hook already?" 
"No; not yet." 

" Ai'e you about hooking with the law ; eh, Jack?" 

" I don't know, uncle. I fear the law and I won't agree very 
well on some points. I am going back to College next week." 

" That's right Jack, keep black on white on the side of 
justice." 

" Yes, uncle, I would like to plead " 

" Come," said his mother, "don't wait, hurry Jack and mind to 
call at the cooper's as you come " 

" Let me say a word or two, to uncle and grandma Barton. Put 
on your best bi b and tucker, for I am going to bring a hero, a real 
conqueror to see you." 

" A conqueror, Jack ; what do you mean ? or what is he coming 
here for?" 

" It's not a man, it's a woman, roared Jack. My mother will 
tell you," and Jack turned to go. 

" Yes, I have a bit of good news with me," said Jessie. " You 
remember Zach Smyth, the cooper, and his three sisters. Their father 
and mother are both dead. James advised, and gave all the help he 
could, to have them move up to a house near Willow yale,where the 
little girls can go to school, and they will be near a Protestant 
church, too " 

" And, no doubt," said William, "Zach will get plenty to do, 
making casks for the distillery." 

"You are mistaken, William, he will do nothing of the kind. 
Only flour barrels, with wooden hoops, churns, and such like. They 
have it down, hlack on white, what he is to make, and what he is not 
to make. The bit of good news I have to tell is : that his sister is, 
I humbly trust, convinced of the error of her way, and is fighting 
bravely against her besetting sin. She is the conqueror." 

" Ah," replied William, " I am very glad to hear that Miss 
Smyth has changed for the better. For my part, Jessie, I don't 
know anything that would drive me to destruction quicker than a 
scolding wife or sister. Sickness and poverty are trials that can be 
borne. They are trials sent from heaven, I think. But, oh, this 
incessant fretting, sarcastic way of snapping at, and criticising every- 
one. It is devil sent. A bar to domestic peace. Eeally, the jaws 
of a scold put me in mind of rusty door hinges. Jessie, what did 
you say she was coming here for." 

" She wanted to see you, William, about getting some straw for 
bedding. So I told her to (;ome here to-day. 1 thought it would be 
^ good chance to get her acquainted with some of our good neigh- 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



109 



bors. I am not sure that she will come, though. Why, if there is 
not Mrs. Parly all the way from Langfords, I wish Mrs, Langford 
would make her appearance, too." 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

After the usual salutations were over, Mrs. Parly began. 

*' I must know what I have to do 'fore I consent to remain. I 
have heard so many different reports about this 'ere meeting of yours. 
Some say it's a woman's right meeting, others say it's a mother's 
prayer meeting. So then, as I bein't a mother, I can't stay. But 
Mr. White said he would bet it was a sewing club, got up for a 
gossip. Oh, I do see you have got something over there in a frame, 
so I don't mind staying." 

Yes, Mrs. Parly, we are sewing to-day. We meet once a 
month for working, and once a month bible reading, prayer, and 
religious conversation." 

" May I ask whom you are sewing for, Mrs. Barton ?" 

" We sew for any one of our n^ighburs who is really in need of 

it. To-day we quilt for . Last month we made a suit a piece 

for each of the Walsh boys, and my daughter knit a pair of stock- 
ing for Mrs. Walsh. Now, tell me, Mrs. Parly, how are the Lang- 
fords? I was wishing you had brought her with you." 

" Bring her with me, you bet I'd have something to do. Why, 
she has more in her own hands than she can manage. Though I 
ventured to tell her this morning, if she would go out more, ehe 
would find her work easier to get through. I don't profess to be 
much of a Christian, Mrs. Barton, but for a woman to stick to pots 
and pans, cooking and cleaning all day, then mend all evening. 
Laws alive, its slow murder. Husbands get out, children get out ; 
but the mothers, oh, how can they get out. She is a fixture. Why, 
I have only been away a few months, and, really, everything seems 
to be going down hill, and what is worse, I fear she has quarrelled 
with her own daughter, and that old Scotch aunt of theirs." 

"Ah, I think, Mrs. Parly, Maud sews at her grandmother's, and 
Maggie is bible woman nov7. Still she is home most of the time." 

" Augh, there is something wrong," replied Mrs. Parly, " as 
the saying is. ' There is a leak somewhere,' ' a rip in the dress,' or 
' a hole in the pocket.' Before I left things were bad, but they are 
a flight worse now. Every one is again another. ' Peers to me they 
hain't got enough to eat, and are agoing to eat one another. Bessie 
is a sensible sort of a child; but, laws' sakea alive, how them ere 
boys 'buse their mother. 'Seems to me they'll have her heart broke 
afore long. I mean to speak to her about letting that son of hers 
go idle. Such an idea; women out doors, sawing and splitting 
wood, and carrying it in ; and George, the great lubber, a doing 
nothing. Only to-day I asked him to split a bit of wood, and Abbie 
to bring it up for me. 'Mrs. Parly,' said they, 'you have to get 
your own man to wait on you. I won't cut wood for our own fire, 



110 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



and mother don't ask me to; so you may be sure I won't foi yOu, 
neither me nor Abbie.' Now, what sort of husbands will them two 
boys make, eh ? I ain't religious, Mrs. Barton, but I've got 
sense enough to know that its bad for boys, both body and mind, to 
go idle all along. Its true, a man that does nothing but loaf about, 
drink, eat, sleep and play, is most like the hogs. There now, how 
do you like that for quilting, Mrs. Barton ?" 

" Yery nice, indeed; and you sew fast, too, Mrs. Parly." 

" Come, come, Jessie, you've had quite a chat with William, and 
we want you here," and soon Jessie's needle was flying as fast as 
any. 

Where's your servant girl ? Didn't she come back last fall, 
Mrs. Barton ?" 

" No ; Norah did not come back." 

" And how do you ever get along, and no help ?" 

"Very well, indeed, considering, Mrs. Parley. You see, Jim 
and Eobert are not at home. Mrs. Lunt has the youngest. Little 
William is an obedient child, and he is at Lunt's, too, most of the 
day. Then Eobina and Nelly do a great deal of the work." 

" How will you ever do when they go to school ?" 
I don't know yet?" replied Mrs. Barton. " They learn very 
slow, too, which is a pity, but can't be helped." 

"Perhaps," said the other, "if you would keep them at their 
books in the house, they would learn." 

"No, Mrs. Parly," said the old lady, firmly, "you could not 
do a worse thing. Force a child to pursue their books, either Sun- 
day or day school lessons too constantly, and you set the little heart 
against them. They may learn when they get a little older. At 
any rate, I don't care, to make their lives miserable now, by inces- 
santly dinging at them." 

" Well, well, Mrs. Barton, I don't see how you can keep the 
house so nice as you do, and no domestic to help you." 

" I'll tell you, Mrs. Parley," said the old lady, as she leaned 
over ; there is a secret in it. " Ellen, their mother, helps me." 

"Ellen!" exclaimed Mrs. Parly, in amazement, " Ellen helps 
you ? What do you mean ? Laws, isn't she dead ?" 

" Speak low, speak low, Mrs. Parly. Yes, Ellen is dead, but 
the training she gave the children lightens the work now. When 
Bobina was not nine years old, she would stand her on a stool by 
the table to wash dishes; and little Nellie, before she was six, would 
sweep the floor and then dust, and settle everything around as par- 
ticular as a little woman. Then, every one has pegs to hang their 
hats on, and each has a box or drawer to put their things in. Yes, 
Ellen helps me. Many a time, when she would be going around 
teaching the girls, I would say, ' Ellen, you would do that work in 
far shorter time yourself, and better, too.' But poor Ellen thought 
otherwise, so she taught them all to wait on themselves, and ~" 

" Ah ! there comes 'Becca. Willie, open the door for your 
cousin. Why, there is Miss Smyth too. She has not waited for the 
buggy." 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



Ill 



CHAPTER XXV. 

After the usual round of saUitalion.s and introductions, Betty was 
placed, needle in hand, to quilt. 

" Mrs. Parly," said 'Becea, " I am truly glad to meet you here, 
and I hope you will favor me with your company next week, down 
in Cosie Cott. I will not ask you to sew there." 

" All right," was the reply. Perhaps I will come if I'm not on 
tother side the lines, but mind you, I ain't to do moren listen to 
you." 

" Just as you wish," Mrs. Parly, " only try and get Mrs. Lang- 
ford to come too." 

"Oh! sakes, Mrs. Lunt, I couldn't, but I'll try, I'll try. Let me tell 
you that that lady won't trouble the world another winter. So you 
may make the most of her when you can." 

" She has a servant girl, has she not, Mrs. Parly ?" 

" Well, there's a girl kind o' lives there. She is not much good 
only to dig potatoes. You see, Mrs. Lunt, girls that go on the spree 
ain't much good. I guess the only thing that keeps her there is 
because she gets drops. I says to her this morning, ' Bridget, your , 
mistress looks wretched, I fear she is agoing to leave.' ' Is she ?' 
said Bridget, so sharp like. 'Then I hope she will take Bessie and 
Abbie with her, for nobody else can manage them.' Sakes, the 
hateful thing ! I could have hit her a slap on the mouth." 

"Ah! here is another arrival," said Mrs. Barton. "Yes, it's 
widow Walsh. Why ! we shall have a goodly number soen. Glad 
to see you, Mrs. Walsh." 

After a little talk on different matters, Mrs. Parly enquired if 
they held meetings to advocate women's rights. 

"I don't see the need," replied Mrs. James Barton. " We all 
get our rights, as far as I know." 

" I know some that don't," said Mrs. Parly, " I know Mrs. Lang- 
ford don't get her rights ; of course she was wrong to act as she 
did." 

" Didn't her husband make his will all in her favor?" enquired 
Mrs. Lunt. 

"Why, yes," replied Mrs. Parly, " but that nasty old scheming 
father of hei-s was so very determined to buy up all the shares in 
the brewery. He borrowed money, and I can't tell you all he done. 
The house she is in is mortgaged. He got her, his own daughter, 
to sigri some papers, by which she has as good as lost all. I guess 
neither father, mother, brother, sister, no, nor husband eithei', would 
get me to sign my name to any paper of their dirty transactions that I 
didn't thoroughly understand, you bet. I don't care what any person 
sayb to the contrary, every woman, married or single, should know 
enough of business so as not to be tools of others. There, I've been a 
pulling too hard and broke my needle. Wouldn't I be a good 
advocate of women's rights," 



112 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



" Dear me, it looks like a retribution for putting Maggie out of 
her rights," remarked Mrs. Lunt, as she passed the needles round. 

Then William spoke trom the chimney corner. ''I say, ladies, 
be careful how you speak of the absent. If Mrs. Langford should 
need a helping hand, which of you would be willingly prepared to 
assist ? Hands up." 

"All of us are. See, Mr. Barton, every hand is up." 

"I am sorry to say," continued William, "that a black cloud is 
gathering over their heads, or will be soon. Her brother, Albert 
White, has gone and committed a forgery, for which he will.be sent 
to the penitentiary for life, if " 

" Why, William, William, is that possible ? How did you hear 
of it ?" 

" I got it through a private correspondent, who requested me 
to use my influence to get him cleared. But I can't do it. His 
guilt is proven. Oh, it was a sad mistake for Mr. White to take 
such an interest with Langford in that distillery. It would have 
been better if White had thrown their money into the lake. How 
true that proverb : ' He that hasteneth to be rich hath an evil eye, 
and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.' That was a 
bad speculation." 

" Better," replied Mrs. Parly, " if Langford had minded his 
trade, and let speculation alone. Laws, if a woman had done 
that." 

" Look," remarked William,'' look under the frames— some of you 
ladies have dropped a pocket handkerchief there." 

"Ah! that's one I found," said Mrs. Walsh, "on the road, 
about a mile below the village, when I was out walking on Sunday 
evening. See, there's a name on the corner, very nicely worked, too. 
Just you look at it, Mrs. Barton." 

"That's only initials," replied Mrs. James. 

"G. C. B. So it is," said Mrs. Walsh. "I met a young couple 
a little before ; very likely it was hers." 

" Sparking, T shouldn't wonder," half whispered William, 
pleasantly. 

" No ; you are wrong for once in your life, William," said 
Jessie — " for we too met them when we were coming from church, 
about the same time and place, and they both resemble one another. 
High shoulders and large eyes; of course they are brother and 
sister." 

"I'll bet," remarked Mrs. Walsh, " they are just brother and 
sister. Though I must say that his eyes are black, while hers are 
blue." 

" Will you let me say a word, Mrs. Walsh ?" 
" Certainly ; have your say, Mrs. Lunt." 

" Well, my say is, that the description you have given corres- 
ponds with the it is just Gussie C. Burnoy, a poor sewing girl. 

She has neither kith nor kin that ever I heard of. Some say Nurse 
Burney has adopted her. Perhaps she is some distant relative. 
However, she is the only person that takes any interest in the 
orphan girl." 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



113 



CHAPTER XXVI 

" Oh, I know now who you are speaking of," said the old lady. 
If all stories are true, she may not always be a poor girl. Nurse 
Burney holds a secret about her parentage, which may yet bring her 
something. But she is not to marry without Burney's knowledge 
and consent — and I don't think she will. Yes, and another thing. 
She is never on any account to drop that ' C ' out of her name. In 
case of the old woman's death, there is a paper, sealed and addressed 
to Gussie C. Burney." 

" I am thinking," said Mrs. Lunt, sighing. 

" And what are you thinking about ? " 

" I am thinking the young man may be he whose path I have 
crossed ; and. I may cross it once more, I may." 

"You are a mysterious body, 'Becca," said William. 
And, for a few minutes, all was quiet. 

"Well, ladies, we are getting on nicely with the quilt. I would 
like very much to see you all at my place next week, and I trust you 
will remember Mrs. Langford in your prayers in the meantime." 

" That's enough, Mrs. Lunt ; you'd better call a meeting to 
advocate woman's rights," said Mrs. Parly — " that is, if you hold any 
rights at all. I know a good deal of these matters, and could help 
you some. You see, I've women's rights on the brain." 

"Why, certainly, Mrs. Parly; we don't deny that at all. We 
know that every woman has a right to rule in her own family, 
managing her own household affairs as she chooses. That is her 
Dominion — and happy is the family that is guided by a judicious 
mother," said Mrs. Barton. 

" It sometimes happens that a mother is at a loss to know what 
plan to try, particularly with way-ward children ; or it may be a 
drunken husband, who spends all on drink. The poor mother has 
neither courage nor judgment sufficient for her task. She gets 
disheartened. Tell me who has need of wisdom more than women ? 
Whose patience is tried more than a mother's ? We hold that she 
has a right to ask advice from those who have had more experience. 
She has a right to meet for prayer, and reading Grod's book. We 
have all an influence over one another, can all sympathize with 
one another, and converse on religious matters." 

" You talk nice," was Mis. Parly's answer. " But it's other 
rights I would advocate. In one thing I caught you saying: * Women 
had a right to meet for prayer, reading, and conversation.' Whereas, 
Paul says : ' Let the women keep silence, or learn of their husbands 
at home.' " 

" Why, Mi-s. Parly, that is quite the reverse of what I thought 
your principles were." 

"No; in religious matters," replied Mrs. Parly, "I hold that 
women should be a pattern of quietness and modesty ; never aspiring 
to or taking part in what I call church work. What I maintain is 
that a woman has a right to hold property; increase or dispose of it 



114 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



as she likes ; should have a voice in choosing teachers, and the girls' 
education should be as good as the boys. But as for presiding at a 
prayer meeting or bible class, that should be left to the men. They 
have the most brass. They are gifted, and their voice sounds better. 
Paul was an old bach, — of course, a little hard on the fair sex. Still, 
I am glad he laid down that rule. Laws ! I hate to hear a feminine 
voice even saying grace at meals. No; the men are the speakers, 
and the chapel the place to meet. You seem in a brown study, Mrs. 
Lunt." 

" I am thinking," she replied, " of something I read in an old 
book, bearing upon this." 

Then by all means let's have it," said Mrs. Walsh. 
'Becca then slowly repeated : 

" Jesus said, ' Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, 
He will give it you.' Again, ' Wheresoever two or three are met 
together in My name, there am I.' He didn't say where they were 
to meet, or where they wore not to meet, whether men or women, 
whether they were to ask in an audible voice, or just in a thinking 
way. Should Christ have made this better understood? He made 
no difference ; but heard and answered all." 

" Come, Miss Smyth," said Widow Walsh ; "have you no opin- 
ion?" 

" I don't know," she answered ; " but I think it's wrong for 
women to do anything like that. Looks just like as if they wanted 
to show off." 

" Good for you," exclaimed Mrs. Parly; " you're on my side of 
the debate." 

" Listen to me," saidWilliam. "Why should women want to show 
off more than men ? You ought to have a better opinion of .your own 
sex. No one would think to say that of men. Tf you are very 
anxious for anything, yoTi'll not always be content whispering or 
thinking of it. The duty of family worship or grace belongs to the 
man as the head of the house ; it is not often required of women. 
But when he will not, or cares not to do so, the wife, for the sake of 
her children, should perform, if she is a Christian." 

" I have often thought," remarked Mrs. James, " that the very 
hearing of our own voice quickens our desires and draws our 
thoughts heavenward." 

" So, Mrs. Parly," said 'Becca, " You would allow us rights in 
money matters, but no further ? Well, it is a duty and a pleasure 
to meet as we do now. It is a pleasure to visit the sick. To see 
that wants are supplied. To see that they are kept clean. Yes ; 
we have a right to meet together to encourage one another on our 
way to the better land, and give a word of advice to those who 
need Christian council. At least ministers' wives have. What say 
you, Mrs. James ?" 

" No more than the rest," said she, as she leaned towards Betty, 
who blushed, and whispered " Yes, you have a right." 

" You all know," said William, " that a great responsibility 
rests upon the women. Heaven has entrusted a greater charge to 
them in one sense than to men." 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



116 



" And what may that be, pray, Mr. Barton ?" 

" It is to instil truths into the child's mind, that will give a 
right basis to their innocent ihoughts, cullivating right j)rinciple8 
into what will be the great men and women of the future day. A 
noble work which few but mothers can accomplish." 

" My sakes ! that's line talk, sir. I never was a mother, but I 
know religion is a good thing in its place. But, laws ! to make such 
a common use of it. It's as bad as making a school-book of the 
bible. What would Paul think if he were here now, eh ?" 

" I dare say, Mrs. Parly, he would think as other Christian 
men do of the present age. The women were a very unlearned class 
in Paul's time. Though we have no reason to believe that they were 
forbidden to pray with one another or speak of the religion of 
Jesue. A great deal of caution had to be observed for fear of bring- 
ing discord or error into the then infant church. And had you lived 
then, Mrs. Parly, I don't know as you could have held property the 
same, nor yet have a vote in choosing a teacher." 

''Yes," replied Mrs. Parly, "I know women were greatly 
kept down in the early ages of the world's history. It is high time 
they had their rights, as well as the little lords of creation. Sakes 
alive ! just to be their own husband's slaves; stand behind his back 
while he eats his dinner, and eat what he leaves. Well, well ; catch 
me !" 

" Very true, my good woman, and what else but the gospel has 
made the change? Therefore, you are indebted to the bible for your 
position. It has broken the fetters, and put woman in her proper 
sphere." 

^ :^ ^ ^ ^ 

"Oh, grandma!" cried Nellie, "There is Maggie, the bible 
woman, at the gate." 

" So it is, Nellie, lass ; open the door for her, she looks tired and 
wet footed." 

Nellie quickly obeyed, and admitted her into what was called 
the stoop or porch. 

" Gudc day, Nelly, hoo's a' the foulk the day?" was her salu- 
tation. 

" They are all very well, I think," said Nellie, as she chuckled 
and laughed. 

" Gang in by, and speer at them if they want ony needles and 
thread the day, an' I'll bide here, for my feet are awfu' wet and 
muddy." 

"Tut, nevermind; come away," called the old lady. "Come 
in, Maggie; bring in your basket, we'll patronize you to-day. Come, 
we're all kitchen turniturc at present." 

But Maggie had still some Scotch bashfulness, and hesitated 
about going in. 

"Come on in," called William Barton. " Come. I like to hear 
that broad tongue of yours." 

Thus kindly urged, Maggie went in. She was rather surprised 
to see so many there. Mrs. Parly smiled to see her ia such a good 
rig. 



116 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



" I am glad to see you back to Canada, Mrs. Parly." 

" I thank you," said Mrs. Parly. " Bat, Miss Langford, how is 
tliis ? They told me you were a bible woman ; but laws, it's needles 
and pins instead." 

" Oh ! ay. but I ha' bibles ta in this corner. See Mrs. Parly what 
nice printed bibles, and sa cheap. Da take ane." 

Before Maggie loft that house she had sold two dollars ' worth, and 
all in small ware. Mrs. Parly also promised to buy a testament when 
she would go home, 

''Maggie Langford," said that lady, "you must be getting 
rich, driving two trades at once. How much do you make at small 
ware ?" 

" Whiles twa whiles three dollars a week. It's far mairthan I 
could make at the bibles. 

" But," replied Mrs. Parly, " I always thought you too modest 
and bashful to do anything so public. Sakes ! I guess you are get- 
ting greedy for gain. Let me tell you Miss, you may be sorry for 
it yet. You would be doing a greater duty to stay with your sister- 
in-law. Everything seems to be going wrong with them. She is so 
miserable, it is cruel of you to leave. To my mind, her house has 
been a home to 3^ou for many a day, and you could go out or in as 
3^ou liked, and if George or Maud did make game of you sometimes, 
wliat about it ? Any young person would have done the 
same." 

Thus spoke Mrs. Parly, and in silence Maggie sat thinking 
thus. " After all it has been agude home to me, an' puir Susie never 
interfered wi' any thing about me or the garret, an I could aye gang 
out an in as I likit." 

" 1 guess I vexed you," said Mrs. Parly. 

"Na, na," replied Maggie, " I'm no vext ava, but tell me are 
yegaun back to Kochester this spring ?" 

'* Yes ; I expect to go back in a few days ; but my going or 
staying can make little difference. If I stay I will pay for my 
board, of course. 1 have the room yet, but that is settled for." 

" It's a' richt then, but I maun still sell on. It's na mair than 
ye wad da yer sel. The minister's wife kens a' about it, an' it wad 
ill set me to soun, my ain trumpet, an' it's a sma' ane-^ " 

" Laws ! what does she mean;" exclaimed Mrs. Parly, as she 
looked around for an explanation. 

" Yes, yes; I know all about it," said Mrs. James Barton, " and 
you must not be hard upon Maggie. What she makes peddling goes 
to help support her brother's family. She has done so ever since 
you left Mrs. Parly. 

" But, my ! she ought to be well paid for selling the bibles," 
remarked Mrs. Walsh. 

" O, aye," said Maggie, " I'm payed for that. Mr. Barton gies 
me what the Society allows, but it disna' amount to much, an' I'm 
pitin' that in the bank for a sair fit or a rainy day." 

"Maggie," said Mrs. Barton, " have you got the Witness this 
week?" 

"No, ma'am, not yet, but I'll ca' at the manse for it the 
nicht, but maybe yer no din wi' it yet." 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



117 



^' Oh ! yes, Maggie, we take the Witness ourselves now." 

" O, aye ! that's true ma'am, twa families ha' been spiering about 
that paper. Ye see I whiles happen ta have a few in my basket ; it's 
a great treat for fowk back in the country to get a weekly paper. 
Some likit the stories an' others the receipts. Ay! auld man blin' 
as a mole likit the bit o' gospel reading. His granson reads to 
him." 

''Speak to the minister, Maggie; speak to the minister and 
he'll write down to John Dougal's office, and they'll send a parcel. 
You might get a number to subscribe for it, or you could sell them. 
Mr. Barton was about sending for a few on trial. So speak to him, 
Maggie ; its a good standard paper, and deserves a good and wide 
circulation." 

" Aye, an' its sa doun again drinking," said Maggie. 

And, with another little glimmering ray, and hope of future 
usefulness, Maggie lifted up her basket and went her way. 

Soon the rest, Mrs. Parley and Mrs. Lunt, went down together, 
and as they went they talked thus : 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

**I am aorry, very sorry indeed, for Mrs. Langtord. Trouble 
must come hard to one in her situation. 'No father to care for the 
children. No husband to bear the trouble with her !" 

Ugh !" replied Mrs. Parley, " as for that, people differ in their 
opinion. Husbands and wives do not always share with one another 
in joy and sorrow." 

" Oh, but they do, Mrs. Parly. I dare say some tiy to keep all 
trouble to themselves, to save their partners." 

" Well, my good woman, it's to be hoped the majority of people 
are of that stamp ; but, mind you, there are exceptions, and more 
than the world knows of, that's so. Laws ! why, I have a cousin who 
has not spoken to her husband for the last ten years, nor he to her. 
Do you believe that ? 1 guess, if he has trouble, he may take it to 
the Witch of Endor for all his wife would care, and they have as fine 
a family of children as ever you saw. They live well, too, at least 
comfortably, and seem quite happy. They ride out with the child- 
ren together, eat at the same table, entertain company together, but 
never a word to each other." 

Oh, dear, is it possible, Mrs. Parly ? It can't be that they 

Ah ! I understand you now, they are mutes and can't talk," and the 
little woman fairly laughed at her supposed blunder. 

Indeed," replied the other, " not much mute about them, Mrs. 
Lunt. They are as talkative as you or I, only they don't talk to one 
another." 

''They don't? Why don't they? How do they get along? 
Do they not know each other's language? Or what ails them?" 

"Of course ; they both talk as plain as you and 1 do; and are 
very jolly, Mrs. Lunt, old and grey-headed though they be." 

8 



118 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



" Oh, my ! how in the worldjcan they live so, Mrs. Parly. It 
would put me crazy. They may appear to be happy, but, oh ! 
they must lead a miserable life. How can they live so, at all ?" 

" Laws ! Mrs. Lunt, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. So 
simple. I'll tell you how. When there's a little tiff between you 
and your husband, just you say something sharp and short ; go away ; 
don't wait to hear his defence. Next time you meet, just give a 
heavy sigh, but be very reserved. He will soon learn to be sullen, 
too. If it so happens that you must tell the house is on fire, why, 
just tell the dog, or the canary, in his hearing, that will do. Simple, 
why the youngest in the house understands. Sakes alive, they prac- 
tice it, too." And Mrs. Parly laughed to see how amazed her 
listener was. She concluded tbat they always manage to have a 
staff of tellers as well as don't speaks. 

" Oh, M_rs. Parly, if there were only two things in the world 
that would drive a man to drink that would be one of them, and if 
there were only two things in the world that would tempt a man or 
woman to commit murder or suicide, that would be one, at least I 
think 80. I don't mind a man and wife quarrelling sometimes. But, 
why, oh, why do they keep it up, eh ?" 

" Sakes, Mi-s.Lunt, you really don't know how the most of people 
live. As for the keeping it up, that's the beauty of the thing. You 
see, so long as they don't speak they won't get into another scrape, 
and the longer they don't speak they like it the better. Pshaw ! sakes, 
my cousins didn't have much of a quarrel. Their relatives did it 
for them, by making a great story out of nothing, and so managed 
to get him jealous of her, and she of him. For my part, Mrs. Lunt, 
I never believed in any of their stories. If the spark had been let 
alone, it would have died out itself. Tell you what, if I have not got 
religion, 1 have got sense enough to know that it's a dastardly mean 
thing for brother or sister, or any one else, to interfere with folks 
after they are married. They have much to answer for, by putting 
one against another." 

" That's true, Mrs Parley, but, oh ! it seems so little, so childish, 
80 unchristian like, besides the sin. I wonder they are not ashamed 
to act 80 before others." 

Sakes! I tell you, Mrs. Lunt, Christianity has nothing to do 
with it, one way or t'other. I have seen so much of it in my day 
I think nothing of it. Pshaw ! there was a family lived near us on 
t'other side, nice people, too, but they were foreyer falling out with 
somebody. He held office in the church for many years." 

" Mrs. Parly, how could he hold office in the church, and be in 
bitterness with any ?" 

" Just because it was not known much out of the family. 
Young and old had policy enough to keep that to themselves." 

"What did he do?" 

*'I can't say what all, Mrs. Lunt. Anyway he was doorkeeper 
for the living and grave-digger for the dead. He got sick once and 
was confined to his bed tor some time. His wife was afraid he 
would lose his situation, and she did all that had been required in 
the church, and on several occasions dug the graves too." 



NOTHING LIKK BLACK ON WHITE, 



ii9 



^' "Were they Americans ? " 

" No ; you don't find Americans work so. They came from 
Germany ; but they are both dead now, and their family scattered. 
Tell you, if I had children, I'd bet they would not cool off with one 
another whenever they pleased. I'd have them speak, if they 
should snap. Of course people can do as they like." 

" Oh, dear me," said Mrs, .Lunt, " I wonder the're not afraid of 
a judgment." 

" Why, bless your kind heart, Mrs. Lunt, people don't think so 
seriously about such trifles. It would never do at all. My cousin 
has a daughter mute ; but, sakes, it wasn't a judgment. She had 
measles when about three years old. It left her deaf, and, of course, 
she soon lost her speech, forgot how. Well, well, every nation has 
its own way of driving a quarrel. Let an Irish couple fall out, and 
she'll settle him with a flat-iron, and he'll settle her with a boot- 
jack. When they have blackened one another to their mutual satis- 
faction, they'll kiss the place to make it well. But if a Scotch or 
English couple has the misfortune to fall out, hang up the bag- pipes, 
for it may be years before they fall in again. The French are worse 
still. I, of course, like the American way best. A mutual divorce, 
and the wife can then demand a " 

Slowly Mrs. Lunt repeated : " 'Whom God hath joined together, 
let not man put asunder.' Oh ! I would rather, far rather, the 
coldness of death, than such coldness of heart between my Ben and 
me. I dare say there are none so happy and loving but may have 
little differences at times, but why can't they give in, one to the 
other ; why be so stubborn, and keep up the spite, like naughty 
children, as you say? Mrs. Parly, a heavy charge lies against any 
that put a stumbling-block in the way of others. If ' blessed are 
the peacemakers,' what shall be said of the peace-breakers ? Oh, 
Mrs. Parly, it must be dreadful to live in a family where any of 
them do not speak to one another. Oh, dear, what a separation of 
hearts ; to me it seems worse than the silence of the grave.*' 

'' Tut ! tut ! Mrs. Lunt, you're far too sensitive. Everybody 
don't think as you do, or nobody would do it. Sakes, it's surely bet- 
ter than swearing and tearing at one another. After all it's the 
mildest form of punishment they can inflict on each other. They 
don't mean any harm, and it's nobody's business either." 

"What do you say, Mrs. Parly? They don't mean any harm? 
Then worse still, the devil means it for them, and urges them to do 
his pleasure." 

" I am thinking," continued Mrs Lunt, aftera minute's silence," 

What about pray ?" 
" I am thinking of one of whom it was said Jesus cast out the 
dumb spirit." 

And poor 'Becca sighed heavily as she said, " What an example 
before childi-en and servantjs. Eeally such cases ought to be made 
a subject of prayer." 

" Laws 1 and who is to do it, Mrs. Lunt? You take far too 
serious a view (;f the mattei". Why, my cousin's husband is a good 
moral man, and a good providtu- for the family. They are both 

8i 



120 



NOTHINa LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



good, and I put no faith in the stories that were afloat. No ! it was 
the work of a meddlesome old maid, making extravagant stories out 
of trifles. It's a long ten years since. But I am sure the coldness 
would have died out if my cousin had more prudence and less 
devotion." 

" What do you mean by that, Mrs. Parly?" 

" I mean my cousin was too devoted to the children. She could 
think of nothing else but their comfort. While she would not turn 
a straw to please him, she would turn the house upside down to 
satisfy them. If they wanted the carriage the father must walk a 
distance of four miles to his office ; everything must be arranged to 
please them. No matter about the father, he always came off second- 
best, an easy good-natured soul he is. You are sighing now, I am 
sorry I made you so sad. I'll just finish by telling you something 
real funny. I was there on a visit one spring. One evening I got 
a summons to go home next day, first day of April. Said I to my- 
self, ' I'll teach these foolish things a lesson of common sense before I 
leave them.' You see I had been trying in a round-about way sev- 
eral times to get them reconciled. But it was no use, for each said 
they had nothing against the other, and each said they waited for 
the other to speak. Well, just as I was about to leave I went to bid 
my cousin good-bye. She was sitting in her bed chamber. ' Polly,' 
said I, * your husband is coming in here to speak to you. Ain't you 
glad?' But, oh ! my sakes, she gave a start and trembled like an 
aspen leaf in the wind. 'Laws, Polly, he ain't agoing to shoot you. 
What are you afraid of? It will be a delightful change. I would 
like to see him, but I must go. Make up your mind to speak plea- 
santly to him and ask his forgiveness, because you know you are to 
blame. Be sure and speak, if it is only these four words 
' Did you want me ?' Polly, go meet him in the dark entry, or hall, 
where you'll neither see nor be seen. Good bye.' I had been in the 
library opposite to her door a few minutes previous, and spoke to 
her husband to the same effect, concluding by saying, ' Now go you 
and meet her whenever I leave, and don't let her ask all the pardons. 
Mind now, or yon may plant thorns in your dying bed.' Well, just 
as I reached the hall door at the foot of the stairs, I listened a 
moment and heard them talk, really talk, first one word and then 
another. Then a sob and a smack. It was time for me to clear. 
' April fools,' I muttered go myself. No matter, I gave a sob too as I 
shut the door quietly. But laws ! Mrs. Lunt, you are so pious I dare 
say you have condemned me already for deviation from the truth." 

" Tell me, Mrs. Parly, my good woman j tell me — do they 
speak now ?" 

For a while, I know they did ; but habit, you know, is strong. 
Good bye ; this very long talk has made a very long walk." 

Eeader, you and I will step back to William' s a minute. 

" Grandma, I heard something about Norah." 

" Oh ! did you Jessie ; and where is she ?" 

^' I don't know that. I only heard of wheie she had been serving 
before Ellen got her. She was nurse in a very respectable family, 
and was at times sent out with the baby. Very often the other 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



children would go with her for a walk. It soon became a regular 
habit. The child appeared better, and the other children were out 
of theirniother's way, who was in poor health. She never asked 
Norah where she walked, and where should Korah bend her steps 
but to a house of ill-fame." 

" Well, Jessie, how was it found out?" asked grandma. 
Her fellow servant, the cook, informed on her. She wanted 
a dress made. Norah said she would get it made cheap and good, 
if she (the cook) wouldn't ask an}^ questions. Norah was going 
out every day or two with the children, and it would be no trouble. 
All right. The dress was made. Norah brought it home, but the 
cook would not put it on till she knew where it was made. She 
asked one of the children, who readily gave the number of the house. 
Well, the cook, who is a faithfal sort of a creature, thought it her 
duty te tell her mistress. Soon ISTorah was discharged. The little 
girls were getting so very intimate, they would recognize and speak 
to the inmates of that house when they would meet them on the 
street." 

" Well, Jessie, they were not to blame ; poor things." 

" Of course not, grandma. They even invited the little girls to 
go to a dancing party. It's a lesson for parents to be on their guard. 
Norah was, to all appearance, a well-conducted person. And Mrs. 
Wade had no scruple in letting her take the children out on week 
days." 

" But, Jessie, how is the evil to be evaded ?" 
I don't know, grandma. The least people can do is to insist 
upon knowing where their children are taken to. I fear there is 
more mischief done by the nurses and governesses among the upper 
class than is known. Of course, it may sometimes be the other way. 
One thing certain, people should never scruple to raise a girl's 
wages, when they find them good in principle and practice." 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

* * ^ * 

" George, my son, I wish you would not go out so at night. 
You might stay in this one. I don't see what pleasure you can have 
every evening out. Go out now, if you wish, but be home at 
night." 

"We have jolly fun, mother — ^jolly fun; perhaps not what you 
would care to see." 

" Indeed, George, it's not me that gets any recreation, whatever 
others do," she said, with a heavy sigh. 

" There, now, mother, don't you begin to sigh and whine, and 
ciy and pine. Oh, I hate that. Come, cheer up. I'll take you with 
mo to Renard's, and you will want to go again. Did you ever goto 
a circus or theatre, mother ? " 

'•Ycs, T have ; but not for the last ten years. 

" Well, mother, tlio stable man and the bar lad had both beeii 



122 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



clowns once. So the landlord lets them brush up so as to entertain his 
customers, while he gets in behind the counter to wait on folks. Do 
come, mother, it will do you good. Then you will have a chance to see 
Maud's beau. Cliff takes Maud often. You think it is a dirty place, 
but it is not. Maud is as m'^ch a lady as either you or aunt Magg. 
She likes it, and sings songs with Mrs. Eenard. So you won't go, 
mother? All right ; I'll make a bargain with you. You go some 
place this afternoon for me, and I'll stay home to-night for you. 
Listen. There is going to be a meeting of women (all mothers) at 
Cosey Cott, and when they all get in, they bar the door and pull 
down the blind, so nobody can see them. I don't want you to go in, 
mother ; but I want you to get under the side window and listen to 
them. Then you can tell me so that I can report." 

" What's the meeting^ for, George ? 
Oh, to pray for each other and preach to one another. They 
think they don't get enough from Dr. Barton." 

" Well, indeed, G-eorge, Mr. Barton's no great things. However, 
no fear but he will give women and children enough," 

" Mother, are you going or are you not ? " 

" Yes ; oh, yes, George, I'll go to gratify you. And you stay in 
to-night for it." 

"All right," said George. Mind, you need not be afraid. No- 
body can see you. Just wait till they sing the doxology, and then 
clear. Now, get ready and go, for it's a long walk, and they'll be 
all in before you get there." 

She went, and returned about four. 

Reader, fancy that we are alongside. Sakes, it was nice, some- 
how, listening to them. Why that old lady fairly talked to the 
Lord Jesus, just as if He was in the room listening to her, and knew 
all about it. I wish I oould do that ; but I never was any hand at 
praying. Dear knows, I've always had enough to think about. 
Sisters, they called one another. I wish I had a sister. Oh ! my ; 
what am I dreaming about ? I must think what I am to tell George. 
Oh I George, George, my son ; I know it was you — 1 am almost 
sure it was you and Maudy they were praying for. What is this 
they said ? ' Do, oh, do, arrest them in their wild career — who love 
pleasure more than they love God. Save them from sin and sorrow.' 
Yes ; that's what they said. ' Make them partakers of grace now, and 
glory hereafter.' But, my ! I can't tell that to George ; he'd 
blurt it all over the country every day, Mrs. Lunt, too, prayed out 
loud : ' Lord, open their eyes that they may see their danger, ere 
it is too late.' Oh ! dear me, one would think those women knew 
somebody was coming to kill Maud. What am I to tell George? 
But what businesshavethey with me or my family, I'd like to know." 

As she approached the stile, she turned to look back, and could 
just see them coming out of the little gate ; but it was too distant to 
make out who they were, and it was not the doxology they were at 
when she left, after all. 

Why Maud, it's you, is it? What brought you here ? " 

" My feet, mother." ' * 

" But why are you sitting here in the cold ? " 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON "WHITE. 



123 



" T am waiting for George.'* 

" No, Mand, you a -e not waiting for George." 
I tell you I am waiting for George. Is it any harm ? " 

" No. Maud, you are not waiting for George. He is in the 
house, and you know that." 

" Mother, you had better tell nie I am a liar. Why, I come here 
every evening, and then walk home with George." 

" Maud, don't try to blind me ; it is not George, but Cliff, you 
wait to meet." 

" Mother, you are always finding fault with me. Poor thing, if 
I can't talk to a friend a few minutes, but you blow me about it." 

Listen to me. Maud, once for all ; I forbid you waiting for 
any one." 

" I know where you have been. You have been in Cosey Cott, 
mother." 

No, Maud, I have not; but, no matter where I have been, I 
forbid you crossing this common or waiting for any one till I know 
more about them. Cliff may be a villain for all either you or I 
know." 

Mother, who told you it was Cliff I waited to see ? You have 
been talking to Mrs. Lunt. I wish you would stop her crossing the 
common as well as me. Old fool that she iS; to watch young people 
the way she does. It would serve her better to mind her work." 

" Maud, I never heard Mrs. Lunt say a word about either you 
or Cliff. All I hear is just in the house among yourselves now and 
then. Why do you suspect Mrs. Lunt ? And why did you put on 
that silk dress to come out here ? See what a sight it is ?" 

It is really too bad, mother, if I can't walk out evenings after 
work and sewing all day. You allow aunty to go where and when 
she likes " 

" Maud, I care nothing about aunty, but I love you too much to 
allow you to run wild. Ah, Maud, nobody can love like a mother. 
Why despise me ?" 

"I don't want you to love me, mother. I know somebody that 
loves me more than you do. Scolding a person ain't loving them." 

" Hold your tongue, Maud ; you know if your poor father was 
alive, you would not be allowed to steal out and stay so late at 
night. Maud, you are my eldest daughter, and should be a comfort 
instead of a grief to me. Come, like a good girl, tuck up your dress, 
and hurry on." 

As Maud turned to go she dropped .some bits of paper. 

Quick as thought her mother picked them up, but said nothing. 
Amongst them a letter ^ ^ 

" Well, mine mother, how did you get along?" said George. 

" Oh, I don't know ; I did not hear much, my son. 1 think I 
must have been late. 1 was afraid I would be seen, for Barton's 
baby was up at the window, and I left when they began the doxo- 
logy, though they did not come out till I was up at the stile steps. 
But never mind, George, perhaps I'll have better luck next time?" 

" So, mothei", yon mean to go again, just to get me to stay home 
another time ; but 1 ain't so soft, not I." 



124 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



" Yery well, Greorge, please yom-self. I don't care to go again; 
but if you want to find out what they do or say, then you had better 
go youi'self." 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

Dear reader, let us go back a few hours, and fancy that you and 
L are silent observers of this mothers' meeting. It is the same mom 
in which some business matters were being discussed when Maggie 
Langford was first introduced to our notice. The same round table, 
on which are placed a number of Bibles and hymn books. The 
floor is covered with home-made carpet now. On the mantel shelf 
are the same two brass candlesticks. Between them now stands a 
handsome oil lamp. Mrs. Lunt has just finished her dusting, and 
settling round the chairs. She is very anxious that there may be a 
chair for every woman and a woman for every chair. After stirring 
up the fire, she opens the door so they will not have to stand and 
knock, while she goes to her own i*oom to tidy up her person a 
little. First came a poor heartbroken mother, but a wife no longer. 
Her heart was yeai-ning for sympathy. Each in turn as they 
entered, passed over to where she sat in the further corner, and, 
with a warm grasp of the hand, gave her a welcome of sympathy 
and aff'ection. They commenced their little service by that very 
appropriate hymn : " Come thou fount of every blessing." Then all 
knelt down in silent prayer for a few minutes, not a breath was 
heard. After singing again, a chapter was read. Then Mrs. James 
Barton, in an audible voice, repeated the Lord's prayer, in which 
they all joined, repeating it word for word. After singing again, a 
chapter was read. Then, kneeling down, two prayed in succession. 
Their prayers were audible, short, and, some might think, simple. 
Each, then, in their turn, made a few lemarks on the chapter they 
had read, a few minutes being allowed for any question to be asked 
or any plan to suggest by which a mother might be helped in the 
training of her child i en. 

While they were thus engaged, little Tottie got up on a chair 
near the window to look out. She was feeling lonesome; so, lifting 
the curtain a little she muttered to herself, " woman on a gound." 
Then, raising her voice: "Tome in, woman s —Tottie dive'ou a seat." 
After which they stood to sing the doxology. The child turned to 
her grandma, saying : " Oh, gamma, woman gone 'way." 

The old lady looked out, and there^ sure enough, was Mrs. Lang- 
ford just leaving the gate. She said nothing, because she thought 
Mrs. Langford had come too late, and was ashamed to come in. 

" Now, my friends," said Mrs. James Barton, "we must all be 
here again at the time appointed. There are other mothers in the 
settlement whom I would like to see here. Perhaps they will be 
along the next time. And you, Mrs. Walsh, I trust, will continue to 
come. Tell me how you are getting along with your little children ? 
You must feel sad and lonely. But you have a greater claim upon 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



126 



the Lord, now, than when your husband lived; and you have a 
greater claim upon our sympath}^, too." 

" Oh!" said the poor creature, " we found it hard to make all 
ends meet. Before he died, I was ailing most of the time, till he 
waa taken ill. I got stronger then, and indeed it took it to attend 
to him. But what I am to do this wintet* to get bread for myself 
and my children, 1 really don't know. I wish 1 was in the grave, 
too, for what, with my heavy grief, and starvation staring me in 
the face, I can do little else than fret," 

Tut ! tut ! my good woman," said Mrs. Lunt, that's not the 
way to do. Have faith in God ; look on the bright side, woman, 
dear. The Lord's granaries are as full as ever." 

" It is all very fine to talk so, but I never had a bright side to 
look to. People talk about Providence providing, but I have always * 
had to work for my bit and sup. Providjnce has never done much 
for me." 

" Calm yourself, my friend ; do not give expression to such feel- 
ings," said Mrs. James Barton. " Do you not recognize the Lord's 
hand ; and has he not put some drops of sweet into your cup of 
sorrow ?" 

" None ! none ! " was the poor creature's answer, as she tried to 
cover her face with her handkerchief. 

"Come, come," said the old lady, "I, too, have tasted of sor- 
row ; but the good God always slips a few drops of sweet in every 
bitter cup. Come, Mrs. Walsh, you will certainly craze yourself if 
you give way so. Now is an opportunity for faith to triumph. 
Trust in the Lord ; He can make all things work for your good." 

" Not much signs of that," replied she. "All things are against 
me. All I held dear are in the grave. Oh 1 if my baby had only 
been spared. I would rather the other two had been taken, if only 
my husband and baby had been left me. But they are gone ; they 
are gone ! " 

" My poor friend," said Mrs. Lunt ; " and who took them ? 
Surely you are not daring enough to enter a protest against the God 
of Heaven. Do not, oh, do not quarrel with your Maker. Do not 
find fault with Him for doing what He sees best with His own. He 
took your babe for He was about to remove your husband. Was there 
no mercy in that? What would you have done with an infiant in 
yc ur ai-ms this winter ? God took your husband, but you had the 
satisfaction of waiting on him all through his sickness. Was there 
no mercy in that? Your own health and strength were good, all 
through, was there no mercy in that?" 

At this Mrs. Walsh fairly trembled. 

" Oh ! " she cried, " I know I am doing wrong to give way so." 

" Yes, indeed you are," said the old lady ; " and the Lord has 
much to bear from you. Now, I warn you to submit at once, and stop 
murmuring at His dealings, or He may soon remove the other two 
also, and lay you on a bed of suffering the rest of your days. Come, 
now, keep up your heart, for we all mean to help you ; so good-bye." 

Pear reader, if it is not too much trouble, turn again to Lang- 



126 



NOTHINO LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



ford's. George, vexed at not getting out, opening his old pocket- 
knife, commenced cutting and scratching everything he could get 
hold of. The furniture (already a sorry sight) was getting notches 
to remember that night by. Supper over, it passed as all other 
nights. When all went to bed, Mrs. Langford took the note she had 
picked up, opened and read it. What could it mean ? It was evi- 
dent that Maud loved Cliff, but he was getting tired of her, and 
seemed anxious to shake her off. That whatever else she had planned 
or anticipated, he fancied a bachelor's life would suit him better. 
While she was reading, Abbie came in and stood stamping the snow 
off his feet. 

^- Why, Abbie," said his mother, where have you been? I 
thought you were in bed." 

" No," said he; "I was looking for something Maud dropped on 
the common." 

''Well, did you find it?" 

" No ; it was only a bit of letter, anyway." 

" Abbie, do you carry notes for Maud ? " 

" I won't tell if I do or not," said he. 

'' Come, now, Abbie, tell mother all about it, and I'll give you 
something real nice. Ah 1 there's a good boy. Tell me, do you take 
letters to or from the post office for Maud ? " 

'' No ; I tell you, and you're mean to pry. You know well 
enough I never was in the post office." 

" Hush, Abbie, sonnie ; speak low. Didn't I see you get a letter 
from Maud one day when she was ill with a cold, and could not go 
out ? Come, sonny, tell mother, did you give it to Cliff? " 

" I won't tell you ; so you need not coax me. There now, old 
mother, you may shut up ; think I am a fool ? " 

And the misguided child of an indulgent mother dashed off to 

bed. 

Poor Mrs. Langford was suffering for want of judicious treat- 
ment of her children, and with a sore heart she picked up his wet 
boots and socks, and put them to dry — then hung up his coat and cap 
he had thrown about. This done, she went to bed, but not to sleep. 
The first thing she thought of in the morning was the troublesome 
note. Again she opened and read it, then slowly she folded it up 
and pushed it deep down in her pocket, and then stood with her 
hands drawn tightly over her head, as if to keep her brain from 
bursting. She neither sighed nor wept. Either she did not believe 
what she had read, or tears and sighs were a weak demonstration of 
grief so great as hers. So the days came and the days went. Oh ! 
what a mercy. Sore, sad days pass as swift as glad, joyous ones. 

"What's the matter, Maud," said Mrs. Langford, when she 
entered her room one day and found Maud sitting staring at 
vacancy, her hair hanging around her shoulders, and hei- hands 
clasped tightly over her knees. 

'^There's nothing the matter," was the cool reply, 

" Maud, your manner belies you. Either you are sick or you 
have got a fright. You look like a ghost." 

" Then, don't look at me," was the pert reply. 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



127 



" Stop your scolding, mother," said Abbie, as he poked his head 
in at the door, " no wonder Maud's angry. Mrs. Parly went away 
that time, and didn't leave Maud the key of the room as she pro-. 
mised, and now our party is all knocked on the head." 

Maud, I would like you to come with me to hear the lecture 
that is to be given in the old school-house. It is a long time since I 
was at one ; it will be a change for us both." 

"Delightful change, mother ; you can have it all. Forme, I 
am going to grannie's." 

" Ah, do come, Maud, that's a good girl, do ; and George, you 
will come too ? There, don't look so surprised ; it is time we were 
all beginning to think what we are going to do." 

" I am thinking," said George, as with both hands he scratched 
his head, " I am thinking, what are you going to do, mother ? Are 
you going to join the Millerites or the Methodists ? I do believe 
you have been at Mother Lunt's prayer-meeting." 

This was one of Mrs. Langford's good spells, which came by "fits 
and starts, few and far between. 

" Do you know what, mother ? I saw Jim Barton, the saddler, 
to-day, and had a nice long talk with him." 

" Why, George, I thought you did not speak now?" 

"Neither we did for along time, mother; but to-day he mis- 
took me for some one else, and was talking away till I told him his 
mistake. Then he begged my pai-don, and said he believed his eye- 
sight was failing. He is a lucky lad, mother." 

" How do you know ?" 
I will tell you, mother, how I know. Jimmy put his arm 
around my shoulder, boy-fashion you know, and in a kind way asked 
me to come and see the present he got from his father last Christmas, 
four acres of land. He wants me to advise him what to crop it 
with. Now, mother, ain't he a lucky chap. His boss put some 
money in the savings bank for him, all because he had stuck to 
nothing else." 

" What does ' stuck to ' mean, George ?" 

" Mean, mother ? Why it means that he learned his trade, 
served his apprenticeship straight through. Don't you wish it was 
me, mother ? But he is a suppy ; a profession is better than a 
trade, it sounds better, one don't have to work so hard nor dress so 
shabby.'' 

" What is a ' suppy,' George ?" 

"Bah! don't you know what a suppy is, mother? Why, it's 
a chap that's afraid to drink cider or beer, for fear it might give 
him delirium tremens. I suppose you thought it was a trade — well, 
well, 1 would like to be a — let me see, now; I can read and I can 
write some." 

" Mother, where is Maud so long ? I thought she was only to 
stay two days at grandma's." 

"She is there yet, George, spinning or sewing; my poor mother 
is so helpless, and Maud just has her own way there. What would 
your- grandmother do without her?" 

" Well, mother, and what is that to us? Indeed, Maud won't 



128 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WllITE. 



be their servant, I'll be bound. I will send for her to-morrow. You 
are a pack of fools, that is what you are. Tell me at once, mother, 
why don't she come home to see the new play at Eenard's ?" 

" G-eorge, don't ask me. I sometimes wish she had never been 
born, nor you either, for that matter." 

" G-olly, you were proud of us once, mother. S'pose you're 
going to set your 'fections on things above after this, eh ?" 

" Oh, George, I beg you to hold your tongue. My pride has got 
a terrible fall," and indeed, she looked like it, trying to make a new 
dress for Bessie out of her own old one. 

Poor George, impulsive at times, hung down his head ; then 
with a start, " Mother, something tells me I have not long to live. 
Sometimes I feel as if there were fire in my veins, rushing up to my 
head. Ain't I just as old as Jim Barton ?" 

Yes, George, you are both near of an age. You two, and Jack, 
the minister's son, were all born within one year." 

" Ah, mother, I wish I was in his shoes. I am no use to any 
one. f wish I was in California. Nobody loves me, mother. How 
does it feel to be a Christian ? Ah ! suppose you don't know. Oh, 
dear, what is the use of living ?" 

" George, where have you been, your tongue is so loose to-night ? 
Have some sense, and dont' talk silly, cant stuff." 

" Well, mine mother, I was in a blacksmith shop, if you want to 
know, listening to a Millerite preaching. He stood by the forge, 
and laid the Bible on the anvil. Thero were a great many people, 
sitting on harrows, ploughs, rough boards, and whatever they could 
get. Some window panes were broken. It is well the night was 
mild. However, the wind blew out a lot of their tallow candles; so, 
as there was a little fire in the forge, the preacher (who was a black- 
smith formerly) stepped back and caught the bellows handle, blew 
up the fire, then called out, ' Bring your candles and light them at 
the forge, and bring your hard hearts to the anvil and hammer of 
God's word.' Then he looked over to where two old farmers sat on 
a plough, and said, ' Plough deep, old men, break up the fallow 
ground of your hearts, for it is time to seek the Lord.' He told them 
the world was coming to an end right away, and they had no time 
to waste. 'Tell you what, mother. Aunt Magg should have been 
there. It would have suited her to a ' T.' Then he named a lot of 
persons who would be claimed by the master they served ; the 
Sabbath breaker, the drunkard, the swearer, and I don't know who 
all. Of course, he had to come down on our distillery, as if nobody 
had one but us. Stupid man, had he only enquired, he would have 
found that it was shut up. He called it and the taverns nurseries 
for hell. He made me feel so squeamish, I most wished they were 
nowhere." 

" George, what made you stay to hear the Millerite ? You 
would not comejwith me, neither you nor Maud, to hear a lecture in 
the old school.] jl suppose Jim or Eobcrt Barton asked ycu, and of 
course you would go any place to please them. Yes, that is the way 
you got to^hear the crazy heads." 

Now, mother,^nobody a&ked me, and the Bartons were not 
there. So you may shut^up," 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 129 

"George, do not get angiy. Mother did not mean to 
anno}'. Neither I did ; and I am very sorryfor it. Now, tell me, 
how did you find out about the preaching?" 

" You re getting to be civil now, mother, and you had better 
keep so. Well, I was passing down to meet some chaps. When I 
got opposite the blacksmith's they struck up a tune I knew well. It 
was ' Auld Lang Syne ' the stupid heads were singing. Aunt Magg 
sings it sometimes. Of course I thought some sport must be going 
on here, so in I walked. ' Anything to pay,' says I to the door man. 
' Yes,' he bawled, ' you have got to pay attention.' ' All right,' says 
I, 'that don't cost much.' 'But, young man, the want of attention 
may cost you your soul,' was his reply, 'Time is short, eternity at 
hand. Here is a seat, friend.' That was doing business, 
mother." 

'• But, George, why did they sing that song ?" 

" Oh, they did not sing the song, it was only the tune. It was 
some sort of a hymn they put to it. Anyway, Mr. Millerite said a 
Wesleyan preacher had stolen a number of tunes out of song books 
for his hymns. He said the tunes were too good for the devil. Aha ! 
aha 1 the Methodists and the devil are always at loggerheads. One 
poor chap, deaf Paul, was just leaning on the handle of a plough, 
dozing a little, when Millerite, who was going over a number of 
dates and figures, all at once stopped speaking, and raising a great 
sledge hammer gave the anvil such a blow, and in a solemn voice, 
said : ' Wake up, there ; how dareyt)u sleep out of Christ, and time 
so near at an end ?' Then he went on with the figures, telling 
them even month, day and hour. It was awful to hear him, 
mother. 

" George, was that all he was preaching about. Had he no 
text ?" 

" I don't know, mother ; I came away while they were singing 
a hymn. It sounded awful like ' Home, Sweet Home.' I felt 
ashamed of my old coat. No — father's. It's a mile too big for me. 

No wonder Jim Barton mistook me fbr a Oh ! I remember. 

The words of his text were : ' Set your affections on things above.' 
He was a queer looking man, mother, for he seldom looked at the 
people. He kept one hand raised up by the side of his ear all the 
time he was preaching, He wore a threadbare coat — out at the 
elbows. Oh! he was in a great way to get the people to believe 
what he waid; and the tears ran down and dropped on the bible. 
Of course, it was all ' bog latin ' to me, ahem ! I wonder how it 
feels to be converted. Do you know, mother? Is it just " 

"Come, George; go to bed. Do you know what time it is? 
Sakes, it's near twelve. Do get to bed." 

" You didn't answer my question yet, mother. That man said 
all the unconvei-ted would be lost. Now, if the world is at an end, 
we had better get converted, for he said that the most wicked one 
that was there could be converted into a good Christian — no matter 
if their hearts were as hard as iron. That is good ; eh, mother ?" 

" George, you are neither a heathen nor a papist, a murderer nor 
a thief, and I don't sec what jou are in such a stew about. I don't 



130 



NOTHINO LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



believe the world is coming to an end. My poor mother used to 
know a good deal about such things before she got so useless. She 
said it would not be until the Jews were gathered in, and that might 
not be for a thousand years. However, if you want to know any 
more, you had better ask your Aunt Maggie. I never was any hand 
to preach or lecture to folk." 

" Then, mother, I won't ask aunt. I would not give her that 
much joy. I know she would like well to get on the soft side of me. 
It would be, ' Noo, G-eordie, ye'U ha' to get a bible. Ye canna da 
without,' that's what she would say, ahem ! Mother, why don't we 
have some sort of worship ? Lots of people have. Mrs. Barton does 
it all herself when the minister is away." 

Come, come, George, go to bed. What on earth are you 
waiting for ?" 

"Why, mother, I am waiting up for Abbie. I sent him foi" 
some hot stuff to make me sleep. I won't be able to sleep a wink if 
I don't get some, after all I heard. Oh ! dear sakes, he is long 
enough to have tried every rum shop in the village. I wish I had 
gone myself, but Abbie can always make the best bargain. Do you 
know, mother, these Millerites, made some go out of their mind in the 
States, they did. Oh ! there is Abbie's whistle." And poor George 
ran to the door, snatched the bottle from the child, and swallowing 
the contents ran oft^ to bed. 

I believe there are opportunities, or turning points in every 
one's life, and it may be this night the opportunity in George's case 
was lost forever. 

We follow Mrs. Langford next day to her father's. 

" Oh ! father, what can 1 do ? I would have told you my fears 
about George sooner, but you always get into such a sputtle of a 
passion when anything goes against you. No use telling poor mother 
either. Where is my brother Albert ?" 

" Albert is out of town just now on some business. What do you 
want with him, Susie?" 

Why, father, you know he promised to get an easy situation 
for George. I am so sorry that George did not get a trade, but both 
you and Albert were against it." 

" Then, Susie, don't trouble your brain about George. If you 
had only pushed him on with his schooling during the last three 
years he would have been tit for some profession. Mechanics are so 
common, and they associate with the lowest." 

Father, father, who else does George associate with but the 
worst. What am I to do ?" 

" Susie, his uncle Albert is getting a situation for himself and 
George. He has been away for some time trying to get the where- 
with." 

" Oh ! father, that is good. What is it to do ?". 

" It is to be a little landlord. Keep shop up in Willow Vale. 
Albert will have the one below here. Now, what say you to that, 
Susie ? I hope I will get the house reasonable. I am going to offer 
a tempting rent to Black Coat. No doubt I will get it this time." 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



131 



" Oh ! father, don't put my George to attend bar. He will drink 
himself to death. You won't believe me that he takes to it so." 

" Curses on you then, Susie. Get him something else to do." 

Ah ! poor woman, poor woman ! To whom will she go for 
sympathy, or to whom unbosom her griefs and fears. 



CHAPTER XXX. 

I must now beg the reader's pardon while I stop to take up a 
stray thread of my story. 

What, without her knowledge or permission ? No, Edward, I 
could not act so, after all she has done for me." 

Then you think more of her than you do of rae, that is plain," 
said the young man. 

" Edward ! Edward ! how can you talk so, you are all the world 
to me. But surely I can love you and still have a loving respect for 
the guardian of my youth. Why should the one love destroy the 
other?" 

" Gussie, you ought to have judgment enough to exercise your 
own will, and not be hampered with an old woman's caprice." 

" Oh, Edward, how can you think so after all she has done for 
rae ? If she had been my mother, she could not have done more for 
me. I might have been sent to some orphan's asylum only for 
Nurse Burney." 

" Yery well, Gussie, it just amounts to this, that you will not 
marry me, if, in doing so, you have to leave her ?" 

" Dear Edward, do her justice. Poor Burney has no desire to 
thwart me or control me, but she surely has a right to look after me. 
Besides she has papers in her possession that tell of parentage, that 
might prove something I am entitled to." 

" Fudge !" retorted Edward. 

" Don't you believe it?" 

" What do you want with property or money, when I have 
plenty ? Come, just say the word, dearest, and then we will arrange 
matters about starting right off." 

Oh ! Edward, give me till this day three weeks, Burney will 
be home then most of the time." 

The two walked on in silence a few minutes, when an unbidden 
tear f©und a place in Gussie'e eye, searching in her pocket for her 
white needful, she stopped short, saying : 

" Oh, I have lost my pocket handkerchief. There, I see it away 
back on the road." 

" Never mind it, Gussie, you will soon have plenty. What about 
it ?" said Edward 

" Our acquaintance has been so short that I have not even men- 
tioned it to Burney." 

" What about that," retorted Edward. " Do you like long 
courtships ? I don't, so long as we like one another." 

About four or five miles from the Willowvale village, in a 



132 



NOTHING LIKE BLAOK ON WHITE. 



thickly settled and woody part of the country, stood the humble 
though comfortable dwelling of Mrs. Burney. Her abode is neither 
stone nor brick, it is only a log shanty. Eeader, have you ever been 
inside one ? perhaps not. No matter, the inmates have little 
trouble with their gas-pipes, or water taps, because they have 
none of these modern improvements ; not even a stair to weaken 
the spine. But what does it matter? Many a clever man and 
woman have been raised in a shanty ; aye, and rocked in a sap trough 
too. Well, I must huri-y. Nurse Burney is out just now. Her 
calling takes her out often among the neighbours, but she never 
stays longer than she can help. In the door yard a young woman 
is busying herself trying to improve the outward appearance of her 
home. A large Newfoundland dog is lying very contentedly watch- 
ing his young mistress with the corner of his eye, lest she should 
invade his property, which was only a barrel laid on its side. 

"There now, Eover, what do you think of that ? Have I not 
put the shine on the old hut? Burney will be home soon, only 
three hours since she left, and see what a change. She won't hardly 
know the place. Speak, why don't you, Eover ? Bark, or some- 
thing. What stupid things dogs are. Well, I will have a rest any- 
way, on this tub. I don't believe Burney will care a bit about my 
work. She would ralher see the dirt than see me tired. Oh, how I 
wish I had sisters, brothers, cousins, or something. It's real lonely 
here all day, not a soul to talk to, but a stupid dog. There is one 
comfort, he never contradicts me, nor quarrels with me. I know 
some families, where I have been sewing, the brothers and sisters are 
incessantly bickering and finding fault with each other. So, if this 
is a dull place, it's happy enough. Come, Eover, speak, why don't 
you ? You stupid dog. I have a good mind to write some verses 
about you, and the last line of each verse will be Eover, Eover, 
Eover. That will nettle you, sleepy head. You are tired of my talk- 
ing so. Poor fellow. But I must talk, whether you answer or not, 
I would forget how. Ah, you're dreaming. So you may sleep awhile, 
I am going to have a sing." 

So suiting the action to the word, Grussie, in a low sweet voice, 
sang " Home Sweet Home." As she finished, Eover growled, 
(lussie started and looked around. There stood an old man. She 
had seen the same old man talking to Burney the winter before, 
ay, and the winter before that, too. He held his hat in his hand 
and leaned heavily on the gate. 

" Hey, day, young woman, if you have a poor house you have a 
rich voice. It may be a fortune to you yet." 

" Who are you old man ? and what do you want?" 

^' 1 was just listening to you a minute, and I want tontsee Nurse 
Burney." 

" She is not in, but if you have a message for her you can leave 
it with me." 

" Then I wish to leave some money for her ; can you give mo 
a i*eceipt ? First give me a drink of water and let me rest a bit. 
I am a lumberer, and have been over my timber limits some distance 
from here, and I am very tired.' ' 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 133 



Saying so, he went to go in, but a quiet signal from Gussie, and 
Eover planted his huge form right in the doorway. 

" Call away your dog, girl ; is he wicked ? Will he bite ?" 

" No, no/' said Grussie, " he is not wicked. He will only take 
you by the throat and pull you out." 

" But, woman, can't you scold him, and keep him still." 

" No, sir, I never scold him, Eover and I never quarrel. He 
knows his business." 

Then, perhaps, I had better not go in, though I would like to 
smoke by your fire a bit. 

" You had better not, sir, it might be your last smoke." 

" You seem very self-possessed ; you are a pair, you and your 
dog. Tell me what is your name ?" 

" Gussie is my name." 

" That is not all. Are you Burney's grandchild ; or are you 
her adopted child?" 

" Sir, I don't care to be communicative with strangers. If you 
have any desire to live any longer, you had better be going as 
Rover's patience is very short." 

Then here is a cheque on the bank for twenty dollars, I won't 
mind the receipt," and he turned to go. 

" Oh! see here, old man, you neither gave me your name, nor 
said what the money is for." 

"It is for Burney," was his answer, " and I don't know what 
to say. I know who you are, but you don't know me." And 
trembling with emotion the old man hurried away. 

Poor Gussie was quite overcome, as, with her arm around 
Rover's neck, she sat down on the door step. 

" Rover, you dog, I made that man afraid of you, so he would 
go off. Dear, oh, dear; but he looked sorrowful at me, but he can't 
know me. I wonder if Burney knows him. There be still, Eover, 
tiN I put away this money. I wonder what it's for. I have a good 
mind to look through her papers. I will pick her lock so I will. 
It is too bad, she ought to tell me all about myself. 
I hate secrets. I hope she wont come in. Oh! pshaw! 
I don't like to open her desk, she trusts to me so. She 
just says, ' Gussie, don't stir my paper desk,' and I know she never 
touches my old box of papers. She is real good that way, so she is. 
She knows I write both poetry and prose, but she never interferes. I 
wonder what she would say if she saw that piece I wrote. ' Who am 
I ; what am I, or wherefore am I here ? ' My narse sings that lullaby 
to koep her conscience clear. Indeed she never had but one hum. Dear, 
oh ! dear ; perhaps I was somd great lady's child, laid at Burney's 
door. No matter; I will know soon. She promised to tell me be- 
fore I would marry, and she docs not know I have got a sweetheart. 
There, she is coming in sight. Go, Rover, meet her. I know what 
she will say when she sees the old ice cleared away, and the yard 
clean. 'lam so sorry you work so hard, Gussie, child ; you will bo 
sick.' She thinks I am a child yet. She always calls me that. What 
are you listening to me for, you stupid dog ? Go, Rover, meet Bur- 
ney." 

9 



1S4 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WSITE. 



" Are you not well this morning, Burney, that you are so long 
getting up?" 

" I am, child ; but I am very tired." 

" Just lie still then, Biu-ney, and here is your breakfast. I do 
wish you could do without going out to nurse the sick folks, indeed 
I do." 

" Child, I can't help it; we must live, and it ain't much I make 
either." 

Say, Burney, what are you going to do with the money that 
man left here ? " 

" Do with it, child ? Why, I have some of your schooling to 
pay out of that ; and I want to get you a parasol and dress with the 
rest." 

" I don't want a parasol and dress. I wish you would rather 
put a gable roof to this old shanty." 

*'No use, no use, child, your wishing for that; wishing won't 
alter circumstances. Gussie, child, I like tbe shanty well enough 
and you may not be in it long." 

A moment's silence, then Gussie, in a faltering voice, said : 

" You won't object to my altering circumstances, will you ?" 

**I know not what you mean, child." 

" I mean," replied Gussie, "I would like to take you to a nice 
house to live with me, and go no more out to nurse." 

Burney said nothing, but sipped her coffee. 

''I want to ask you something, Burney." 
Ask away, child." 

" You promised me years ago to tell me about my parents, be- 
fore I would get married, so now you have just two weeks to do it 
in " 

" Child, child 1 how is this ? I did not know you were keeping 
company with anyone. Tell me, doesanyone come here to see you?" 

" No, Burney ; but in where I sew. 1 got acquainted with a nice 
young man, who calls there sometimes ; I don't know what for ; any- 
way, the girls like to have me sing, and Edward, why he is crazy 
to hear me." 

"Gussie, child, what do you know aoout him? He may be a 
drunkard, or an idle good-for-nothing, or he may be a married man. 
Child beware ! " 

" If you knew him as well as I do, Burney, you would like him. 
The very last time I was there, he came with me the most of the 
way ; and he is neither a drunkard nor an idle good-for-nothing. He 
is not married either. And only think, he has a nice farm away up 
West. So we are going to have a nice comfortable home. You will 
come, too, won't you, Burney ? " 

" Gussie, dear child, I must see him. I must know that he is 
deserving of you, and if he is, I have no objection to your union. 
What is his trade, and what did you say was his name? " 

" I don't know what he follows. Perhaps he lives on his money. 
His father is very wealthy. Edwaid has a gold watch and chain, 
and dresses well, and one of the prettiest canes you ever saw. He 
dees not smoke, only cigars." 

Gussie, is th^ft his christian or surname ?" 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



135 



" Why, Burney, that is his first name. Cliff is his surname. 
Now, Bm-ney, I do wish you would tell me about my parents. Of 
course they are dead, but tell me who they were. Did you know 
them ?" 

" Ah, Gussie, child, it grieves me to tell you, but it must be 
done. Your mother died soon after you were born, and about a 
fortnight after she was brought here. Your father still lives." 

" Oh, Burney, where is he ? Did I ever see him, and did he 
ever see me ?" 

Yes, child, you have seen him and he has seen you, teut, 
though you did not know him, he knew you." 
" Tell me, Burney, were they married ?" 

"No, Gussie, that was the black part of the story. Your father 
had a wife and family in the old country. He came out sometimes 
on business. Your mother was serving as housemaid in th-e hotel 
where your father boarded. Gussie, child, I wish you would not ask 
me any more. Well, what he pretended to be, and how he was 
trusted. But, instead of a guardian, he proved to be a deceiver." 

" Burney, what was his name ?" 

" Child, I cannot tell you; I cannot tell you. Bring me my 
writing-desk." 

Then, unlocking it, she took out a package of papers, saying: 
"Here, child, open it. Your mother sealed it and left it with me for 
you if you should grow up." 

Poor Gussie felt stunned ; however, taking the package in her 
trembling hands, she opened it, but could hardly make out the 
writing ; at last, with Burney 's help, she did so. 

" And so it was you, Burney, that baptized me, and my name is 
Gusille Cliff?" 

" Yes, child, your mother desired it. She was just able to write 
a few words at a time." 

" Did her people not come to see her or to gel me ?" 

" No ; they came for her clothes after she was buried, but they 
would have nothing to do with you. Your poor mother extracted a 
promise from me that I would keep you myself Your father bound 
me to secrecy, paying me well for it. So you see, child, I was 
bound by both the living and the dead to keep the secret." 

" Tell me, Burney, was that old man who left the money, was 
he my " 

" Yes, child ; your father." 

" Oh, nurse Burney, what is his name ?" 

The old woman only touched the name Cliff on the paper Gussie 
held in her hand. 

"Burney, dear Burney, tell me, is Edward Cliff my brother?" 
" Child, he is your father's son." 

'•Oh, dear," said the poorgi!-], " what a fate I have escaped 1 
But why did the old man ask if I were your grand-child ?" 

" Because, Gussie, I had a grand-child for the tii'st three years of 
your life, but she was taken home. It may be your father wanted 
to find out what you know about yourself." 

" But why do I go by the name, Burney ?" 



136 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



Child, I only gave you that as a sort of protection from 
pryers. I had you entered on the school register. Some think you 
are my grand-child; some think I have adopted you." 

" Did my mother wish you to call me that ?" 

" No, child, she did not. She requested me to keep you. Her 
wishes are all written down there, ' Black on White,' nor has it been 
opened since she closed it. There now, calm yourself, Gussie, child, 
and thank heaven for crossing youj' purposes," for the poor thing 
sobbed and cried as though her heart would break. 

Oh ! Burney," she cried, " I have indeed escaped a terrible 
fate. But I think Edward has found out the secret of my birth, 
because he was to have been here ten days ago. Indeed, he wanted 
me to elope with him tlien, for fear you would not consent to our 
union. But I could not do it ; Burney, I could not do it. Then I 
felt so sure you would consent. Oh, but you must see him, and tell 
him how it is." 

Gussie then threw her arms around the old woman's neck, and 
kissed her repeatedly. "Oh!" she said, "I never cared to think 
much about Providence before. I do now." 

"Poor child," said Burney, £ will make enquiry shortly, and 
find out if this is the same young man ; so think no more about it.' 



CHAPTER XXXI 

Reader, the house which I now introduce to you, appears to 
have been once a substantial building, but now showed signs of 
decay. Negligence and poverty have stamped the place with a fore- 
boding aspect. True, the long winter has passed away, or nearly so. 
We will not say much about the beauty of the spring time. Fancy, 
reader that we are h'stening to their conversation, and then we will 
know who the inmates are. "What a confounded fool Albert was. 
He might have known that would not do." These words were 
uttered by an old gray headed man, who staggered into the kitchen, 
threw himself into a big chair, which proved too frail to bear his 
weight. He had sat on that chair for many a day. But it refused 
to bear his weight any longer, and the old man fell back, sprawling 
on the floor. A young woman stood by, laughing at the ludicrous 
sight, as the old man slowly rose out of the wreck. She muttered, 
" yourself is the oldest and biggest fool." This so enraged him, 
that he picked up the broken chair, throwing the pieces about, 
breaking whatever they came in contact with. When the storm 
had somewhat blown over, the old man sat down on a bench, 
and, taking out his pipe, commenced to smoke. 

"Maud, it was all your fault that your uncle was apprehended. 
I hate the sight of you, and wish you were in your grave. Give me 
some dinner, and be quick." 

" Yes, sir; what shall you have ? Cold meat and chips, or cold 
meat and straw, grandpa ?" 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



137 



"Maud, answer me first. Do you know that young man, 
Cliff?" 

Yes, grandpa, I have seen him beford. Why do you ask ?" 

''Maud, the stage driver told me you wore privately married to 
Cliff. Is that true ?" 

The stage driver has no business telling you anything about 
me. He is a meddlesome old fool." 

Maud, that is not answering my question. Tell me at once, 
hussy, is it true ?" 

" Find out for yourself," was her pert reply, and Maud gave 
her head a dignified toss, and was about leaving the room. 

" Curses on you, is that the way you answer me ? " said her 
grandfather, and, seizing her by the arm, shook her violently. 

"G-randpa, if you had spoken civilly, I meant to have told you. 
I am engaged to be married." 

" You are, eh! engoged to be married ! "When, hussy ?" 

" As soon as the spring opens up nicely, so we can take a trip 
up or down the lakes, like other people." 

The old man started and shook his fist at her. 

"Go!" he said. " Gro from this house, you bold, bad girl. 
Never darken this door again. Take your things and begone." 

Maud ran around the house, getting her things and tying them 
in a bundle, and when she re-entered, the old man lay snoring on the 
floor, with a broken tumbler beside him. Tying on her bonnet and 
jacket, Maud, ere she left, turned into a little reom back of the 
kitchen, where an old and almost helpless woman sat in an old- 
fashioned arm chair. On the one side was fastened a huge work 
basket, and on the other side a pouch bag. The poor creature was 
paralyzed on one side, and had been for a long time. The bag and 
basket were well filled with thread, needles, strings, rags, socks, 
buttons, bits of paper and such, for in her well days she would work, 
but most of the time she played like a child. 

We will not say how this calamity came upon her. All her 
other faculties were more or less affected. Just now she looks very 
much agitated, and tried hard to ask an explanation of the noise. 
Maud picked up the drinking cup and turned back to her grand- 
father's jar hurried it to the old woman. 

"Here," she said, "drink that And I am sorry to leave you, 
because you are the only one that loaves me alone. Never once have 
you scolded — never ! never ! ! And I love love you — love 
3^ou ! See, here is a lot of little pictures, and pretty things for you 
to look at. And here is some snuff I hooked for you. Hide it now, 
mind, deep down in the bag. Hush ! don't try to speak. Good- 
bye, grandmother, good-bye." 

Yes, reader, there was a tender spot in poor Mr.ud's heart, and 
when she saw tears come into her grandmother's eyes she fairly 
broke down, and pressing a kiss on the old, wrinkled forehead, she 
tore herself a way. 

Alas! poor Maud. The way of the transgressor is hard. Yes, 
fixmily pride has turned many a ono to the door, for whom the gates 
of heaven will stand ajai-. 



138 ^rOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



Again, hardened with abuse, she stood at her mother's door. 
Sullenly she stood by, while her mother gave vent to many bitter 
words, which I do not care to repeat. May none of my readers ever 
bear the things that were iaid to her charge. 

" Base girl, why did you not tell me sooner — you profligate 
hussy? T don't believe that Gliif ever intended to marry you. Oh, 
that you had died in infancy, when you had the whooping cough. 
You were low enough to have died ; I was foolish not to let 
you go." 

" Then, mother, it is all your own fault, keeping me here to sin 
and sutler. I might have been in heaven. 

" Maud, your death would have made me crazy." 
"No fear of that now, is theie mother?" 
^'No, Maud ; but your life may." 

" Well, is there no one in but you, mother ; and is tea ready. I 
am starving with hunger." 

" Don't take off your things. Fly ! Maud, fly from this 
house. You have brought black disgrace upon us, and ruin upon 
yourself. Why, oh, why did I cherish you to break my heart. Go 
at once ; I disown you; you are no daughter now." 

"Where will I go, mother? I never travelled." 

" Then you may go travel, now. Don't call me mother. Go 
search for him whose company and whose love you preferred to 
mine." 

" Oh, Maud, is that you. It is sa dark I cud hardly see you, 
Bitting there." 

" "Yes, Aunt Maggie, it is me." 

" Are ye waiting for somebody ? But may be I shudna speer, 
only it looks sa like a storm the nicht ye'd better come hame." 

" Home," repeated Maud. " I have no home, no home. Oh, 
Aunt Magg, I am turned to the door, by both grandfather and 
mother." 

" Hegh, and I ken what for . Maud, waes me that it should 
come to this. That my brother's bairn should be turned to the door 
be her ain mother. Eh ! what, wie, could they no bear wi' ye for a 
while. The Lord Jesus has borne wi' you an' them for mony a day. 
Dear me, to think of a mother turning out her ain dachter in a nicht 
like this. Ah, lassy, lassy, see the evil of sin, an then hoo great the 
Lord's love. He turns na body away for sin, if they only come to 
him in a humble spirit. Tell me, Maud, what do ye mean to do ?" 

" Aunt, don't bother me. If you must know, I mean to make 

for the city of though it takes me a week. Bridget gave me 

directions to get into the nunnery. She is going to granny's to stay. 
Yes ; I will give myself up to the blessed nuns. Bridget said they 
will be good, and they never turn girls away. I will live and die 
thei'e They will not abuse me like my mother did." 

" Oh, Maud, your mother has other trouble forbye your's. Her 
brother, your uncle Albert, has committed an awful crime. Come 
away hame, I'll carry yer bundle." 

"I toll you, Aunt Maggie, I have no home. Why don't you 
believe me V" 



NOTHINa LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



189 



Maud, yoa used to have aguid hame, an ye were well offta." 

" Used to, Aunt Maggie; used to, not now," she repeated in a 
sort of dreamy way. " TJsed to have a homo, a father, and mother, 
brothers, sisters, good clothes to wear, plenty to eat and drink. I 
never had to chore and sUish like you. Just to sew, and walk out. 
A good home, — used to ; not now. Now I have no home, but I am 
going to one." 

" Maud, is there anything I can do for ye, my woman," 

" Yes, Aunt Magg, you can go away, and mind your own busi- 
ness. Let me alone, I don't want you to talk to me, and if Oh, 

yes, T want you to give me some money. You will never get it back 
again. But you can take my beautiful silk dross. Sell it, or wear 
it. Quick, now, give me the money, and let me go." 

"How much, Maud?" 

"Nine or ten. Aunt Magg, or five dollars, if you have no more. 
Hurry now, before any one comes." 

" I haven't that much, Maud, but come hame wi' me and sleep on 
my bed in the garret this ea' nicht, and in the morn I'll do a' I can 
for ye. I've been a' roun' the country, and ken far mair about it 
then ye do, sa come awa', my woman." 

" Do you want me to be turned out again? You old thing, you ! 
No, I am tired enough without having to walk the same ground 
over," retorted Maud. 

" Oh, Maud ! Maud !" pleaded her aunt, "if ye have any respect 
for yer deed father, come wi' me, sleep this oa' nicht, an' in the morn 
I'll do whatever is in my power. Yer mother 'ill be down at gran- 
nie's noo, sa come awa', my woman." 

" Oh, aunty, aunty, must I go back again ? Mother will be 
seeing me, and, oh, she will .kill me. Oh, save us, what will I do ?" 

"Dinna be feei-ed, my woman. Ye ken yer mother never 
looks near the garret, ye might be there for weeks an she wadna' 
ken ; I've little money about me, but I ha' some nice cheese and 
crackers." 

" Then give me some, aunt, for I am faint with hunger. Oh ! 
that is -nice, give me some more. Oh ! Aunt Magg, if you had always 
spoken in that kind way I might not have been the fallen creature 
I am. 



CHAPTER XXXIL 

Two hours later and Maud lay sleeping quietly in her aunt's 
bed. At the far end of the room sat Maggie. There was little sleep 
in her head. Sometimes talking to the unseen, sometimes to her- 
self, as we befoi'O noticed it was a habit of hers. "An' what for am 
I here the nicht? An' what kept mo in the paths of virtue? What 
for am f no an outcast wandcrin' crater? Lord, it was Thy hand 
that sheltered and guided me, an' T cannio help but love Thee. Thou 9. 
;uM, my strength, my Lord and Eedeemer. Help, oh ! help mo in 
my present duty." The next day Maud woke up with a bursting 



140 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



headache, and her aunt coaxed her to lie still, and gave her a cup of 
tea. 

" There noo, let me wipe yer face an' hands wi' a wet tool, and 
ye'll feel better. Pit doon the bit o' paper out o' yer hand, or it'll 
get a wet." 

" Oh ! no, aunty, I must take care of that." 

Then lay it under yer pillow, an' it'll be safe." 
" Oh ! no. Aunty, Maggie. First tell me are you my fast 
friend ?" 

" Eh ! yes, lass, I'm yer only Iriend be yer father's side, an' I'd 
da as much for ye as if ye was my ain sister." 

" Then, Aunt Magg, I want you to bring me something that 
will make me die right off; rat poison, or I don't care what, and 
bury this bit of paper with me. Now promise, promise." 

" Na, na, Maud, I couldna da that my woman, but will ye no tell 
me what the bit o' paper is about ?" 

"No ! I want George. You'll not do anything for me at all." 

" Speak low, speak low, my woman. Ye canna see George till 
ye tell me what ye wantwi' him." 

" Oh, dear ! must J tell you ? When I was coming from gran- 
ny's yesterday I met Abb, and he gave me this note. Young Cliff 
has given me up, taken up with another girl." And the poor thing 
sobbed and cried as if her heart would break. " Now go down and 
send George to me." 

" Maud, what for de ye want him ?" 

" I want to tell him about Cliff, and get him to make me his 
wife and take me away from here, I don't like this place. " Oh ! 
aunty, do, do. I can't bear this suspense. Oh ! I'll go down myself, 
there now," she said, springing over the bed. 

''Eh!na, na, my woman, ye canna* see George. Eh, Maud, 
lassie, it winna da to tell George about Cliff. George wad murder 
Cliff'. Eh ! my bonnie lassie. I)a ye think he wad let the man live 
that deceived his sister ? Na, na, George maunie ken. Take another 
cup of tea and a cracker. There noo^ rest a bit, and ye'll feel 
better." 

Ah ! Maggie knew the secret of calming the nerves by attending 
to the wants of the stomach. 
In the evening : — 

" Oh ! golly, mother, I have got a situation ! Have I better 
clothes to put on to go with ?" 

" Abbie. are you mad ? What do you want with a situation ? 
What are you going to do ?" 

" Here is the paper. Se«, ' Black on White,' what I am to do 
and what E am to get." 

She took the greasy paper and glanced over it. " Abbie ! what 
in this world have you gone and hired yourself without my consent 
or knowledge to that gipsy circus for ? What do you mean ? You 
can't go." 

^ "Golly, don't you go to stop me now, mother. You'll find I 

can't be beat. Write your name just there, quick." 

" What will I do that for ? No^ I have done that too often 
already, Abbie." 



NOTHING LIKE BL4CK ON WHITE. 



141 



" I think, mother, it means that you will answer for my good 
conduct. Sometimes they hire boys, and when they have paid 
their passage to places, they leave them, Hurry, quick." 

" Say, Bossy, I am hired. Won't I have the fun ? And I will 
get you a free ticket every time my circus passes here. Say good- 
by for me to G-eorge and Maud. Tell them the company was just 

waiting for me. and " 

There is the man for me, mother. Mother, where is the 
paper ?" 

"In the fire." 
Oh ! mother you, you wicked wretch to do " 

" My good woman, I am the bearer of sad news." 

" Oh ! I thought, I thought," said Abbie, you were the circus 
man." 

" Sit down my good woman, sit down" said the man, "taking 
no notice of the child. Sit down and hear all." 

" Go," cried Mrs. Langford, " with your bad news I have had 
enough," and turned away, leaving the man standing there. 

" Sad news, 'Becca, sad news ; poor George Langford is 
dead." 

" Impossible, Ben, I saw him in the afternoon. I am sure it was 
him.' 

Ah ! 'Becca, he is gone ; he is drowned." 

''How is that, Ben. Tell me all about it," and the dear little 
woman sat down to hear the tale of woe. 

" George found, through some means, that Oliff had deceived 
his sister. That he had married another girl, and was on the point 
of leaving for California, but requested an interview with Maud at 
the old trysting place, the style steps. Poor George, enraged at 
the villian, and without letting anyone know, hurried on to the pine 
grove, near the distillery, where Cliff would pass. I believe he 
went round by the distillery first. Soon he espied Cliff under a 
pine tree gathering spring flowei s. A bouquet, no doubt, for Maud. 
George had exhausted his strength hastening there, and as he leaped 
wildly at Clift', the villian started and stared at George. George 
charged him with the crime, when with the wild cry of a maniac, they 
rushed upon each other. ' You're mad, George,' cried Cliff, ' you are 
mad.' ' Yes, villian I am mad, you have driven me to destruction. 
Lie down till I kill you.' * George you flash of wild fire, boy you 
are in the delirium tremens. But you will kill yourself before you 
kill me.' ' Villian !' roared George, 'for your treatment of my sister 
I will trample you under my feet, and your bride will feel better of 
her widow's weeds, when she hears all. It was the last was heard 
of poor George. Cliff and he fought away, but as the ground 
slanted they could not keep their footing, both stumbled into the 
mill-pond. 

" Ben, how did you hear all this ; and is Cliff drowned too?" 
" No, Be.cca, that is the strangest part of the proceeding. Cliff 
was no swimmer. George was a good swimmer. Cliff struggled out 



142 



NOTHINa LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



by some means. George, poor fellow, sank like a stone to the 
bottom." 

" Tell me quick, Ben, have they found the body ; and tried to 
restore him to life ?" 

" Yes, yes, I helped to pull him out. We tried for a long time, 
but life was gone. As for Cliff he fled, no one could see where. But 
I don't know as he could be taken up for murder. Though I hope 
he will be brought to justice yet." 

" Ben, did no one interfere to save poor George ?" 

" Why, no, 'Becca ; there was no time or opportunity to do 
anything. I was on the other side of the creek, and called out to 
thera to desist from fighting, but they heeded me not." 

But, Ben, there is a log hut there, and an old man and an old 
woman living there. What did they ?" 

The old man was out. The old woman stood at her door, 
'Becca, and heard and saw all ; bat what could a woman do ? Be- 
sides it was getting dusk. The old woman stated that George came 
to her for some keys, and then went to the distillery office. She 
does not know whether he got liquor or not, but he appeared to be 
terribly agitated. ' George,' said she, ' what is up ?' He turned 
round, and gave her a look that she says she will never forget." 

" Has word gone up to his mother ?" 

" Yes ; but she did not receive it." 
Why so, Ben ? Was she not there ?" 

A man went up right oif to tell her. He had a spite against 
the whole family, and had said in her hearing once, that he would 
be glad to be the bearer of ill tidings to her." 

"Oh ! well, then, I am glad she heard him not." 
Yes, 'Becca, it is as well ; so you had better go up, and com- 
mence the subject to her as easy as possible." 

About eight o'clock next morning, Mrs. Lunt's horse and buggy 
might be seen to leave Mrs. Langford's gate, while beside the gate 
stood Bessie and Abbie. 

" I think," said Be^^sie, " mother is going to bring George's 
body home." 

*'No; I don't think so; they are holding an inquest on him 
now." 

" What is an inquest, Abbie ?" 

" I can't tell you what it is, Bessie ; I think it is something 
thcj do with drowned people." 

" Abbie, I am sorry George is dead. Is Cliff dead too ?" 
''No; Cliff ran off lest he might be blamed." 
" Oh, dear ! I wish there was no pond there." 
" Why, Bess ?" 

" Cause, don't you see, Abbie, if there had been no water there 
poor George would not have been drowned." 

" Ugh ! Bessie, he might have been killed. Murdered, though, 
and that is as bad. I am real sorry I gave him that letter though; 
it was it that made them fight." 

" Abbie, what makes boys fight ? Girls don't do that." 

" Do you call George and Cliff boys ? Why, Bessie, they are 
men, real men." 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



143 



" Abbie, you never see girls scuffle ar^d haul one another over, 
hardly ever. Men go to war, too, and kill one another, but women 
don't." 

" 'Cause, Bessie, they are not strong, like we are ; women are 
cowards, too, and not brave like we are." 

" Oh, Abbie, I don't see the use of being so strong and brave. I 
would be glad if all the men were weak, like girls and women are." 

" "Well, Bessie, but you are soft. What would you do if a great 
bear was coming to fi^ht you?" 

" I don't know. What would you. do, Abbie ? Could you kill 

it ?" 

"Well, wait," replied Abbie, "till you see." 

" Say, Abbie ! if Cliff had been drowned, that would have been 
four men that have been drowned there since pa died. Don't you 
mind, one was sailing in the canoe, and just shaked the boat a little 
to frighten his wife, so he fell out and was drowned ?" 

" Now, you are wrong; Bessie, it was the woman that was 
drowned, just because she was a coward. Her husband was only in 
fun. And the fall before that, a Frenchman, driving in a team, 
mistook the pond for a field, and went to drive over it ; but the ice 
was not strong enough, and he broke through ; but, Bessie, he was 
tight." 

" I don't care, Abbie, grandfather should let the water all go 
down to the lake. I wish I was strong and brave like men are, I 
would make a big hole in the dam." 

" Bah I how mighty wise you would be, Bess." 

"Oh, Abbie, lam sorry George is dead. What shall we do at 
all ? Uncle away, too, and grandtather so cross." 

" Grolly, I am the only man in the house, I am." 

" You are not a man, Abbie, so don't go to call yourself one." 

" Well, Bessie, I will soon be one, and then you will see how I 
will work for you and mother. I will soon get back the horse and 
cow the bailiff took, you bet I would. I am sorry that that circus 
got away last night, because they promised me lots of money, if I 
would go with them, just to play, mind you. JSTot to work any. I 
will go yet, I will." 

5jc ^ ^jc 5|C 

Down by the pond. The living meeting with the dead. 
" Oh my son, my first born, my G-eorge." 

And the poor creature folded the lifeless form in her arms, 
smootlied his hair over his forehead and kissed his cold lips. 

" Come away with me," said Mrs. Lunt. "While they wash 
and lay out his body." 

Mrs. Lunt, and the others, wished to keep away all noise from 
Langford's, on account of the refuged Maud. 

"For a little while let mo Ijo near him. He is my son, my 
George — my own Georgie. His father used to call him wee curly- 
headed Gcorgie. Oh, my son ! my son !" 

And who!-e was Maggie all this time ? She bad been down 
before Mrs. Iiiu\[rt'()v(], and saw the cold remains, but had to hurry 
back to watch Maud. Maggio^had told Maud her fears that poor 



144 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



George was drowned, but said not a word of his body being found 
until long after it was buried. 

" I can't believe it, Aunt Maggie. George is off on some errand 
^ or uncle, or to see Cliff," said Maud, he'll be back again." 

It was the evening after the funeral that Mrs. Langford was 
walking about the house. Bessie was doing some house work 'ander 
the direction of her aunt. Abbie was slyly practising some tricks 
which he thought would better qualify him for the circus. 

" Children, get in your kindling wood," said Mrs. Langford. 
And go to your beds." 

But still they trifled about. 
Go at once," she bawled, " for I can't stand your noise," and 
lifted the poker and shook it at them. 

When they had gone, Maggie came and stood around, wishing 
to comfort her if she could. Poor Maggie had work to do up stairs 
and down, trying to keep each as calm as possible from excit- 
ing the other. And Susie had work to do. In her deep trouble she 
thought and planned it all. 

"Maggie," said she, "are you done with your basket for 
to-night; I mean, can you empty it for to-night ?" 

" Yes," replied Maggie, " I can." 

" And your hood and shawl, too." 

" Certainly, Susie. I will leave them all here. Just where 
you can see them." 

And Maggie did so. Then went up stairs to her room, but first 
suggested that she had better take her boy with her, to which Susie 
made no reply. All being quiet she soon slipped out in the bible 
woman's rig. The basket on her arm, full of kindlings and some 
matches, too. Did Mrs. Langford wish to go in disguise, or did she 
lancy that there was virtue in the bible woman's rig. Susie had 
never asked for these things before, and Maggie never doubted but 
she had gone to her father's. It was a good chance to get some 
victuals taken up to Maud. 



CHAPTER XXXIII. 

How startling the cry of fire ; and how awful the glare of light 
it throws on hill and dale, particularly in the country place where 
there is no fire engine to bring into action. It was about eleven 
o'clock at night that the whole neighbourhood was alarmed, and as 
they gathered to the scene of the disaster, the eager enquiry was : 
" How did it originate? " The distillery had been shut up for some 
time, on account of not having sufficient means to prosecute the 
trade. What could have done it? There was no one living there. 
The old man and woman had moved away on the night that George 
had been drowned. The spectators were just coming to the conclu- 
sion that it was the woi-k of an incendiary, when some hinted that 
perhaps Cliff had taken refuge there, and at once the rest came to 
tiie sanie conclusion. Still, it was evident the fire did not originate 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



145 



in the inside, but from the outside. It was now unapproachable. 
Now, the man who longed to impart bad tidings, demanded a heat- 
ing. He said : 

" I had occasion to cross the common about ten, last night,wh€n 
who should I see but a wolf in sheep's clothing, near the style steps." 
" Which way did he go," asked one ? 

" It was not a he," said ouj' informant ; " it was a she wolf." 
Arrah, man, can't ye spake plainer than that, and have done, 
shure ? " 

" Then, with your leave I will speak plainer," said the bad 
news-man. " It was the bible woman. Miss Langford ; I know it 
was her. She had a basket on her arm, and was talking to herself. 

I heard her say : ' He made me feel so squeamish, I most wished Ohf 

Ah ! I'll hum you. I will hum you, I will V " 

" Shure," said our Irish friend, " it is yourself that's the bad 
man to be, after suspecting adaoent woman, and a bringing her into 
throuble." 

A messenger was sent to White's, and another to Langford's, to 
find if any were out that night. Neither Maud nor her mother 
could be seen. Soon Maggie appeared and answered for Maud's 
safety; but where was her mother. Towards day she was found iii 
the church-yard, lying on G-eorge's grave, almost insensible ; the 
basket alongside with a few kindhngs and matches in it. She w^b 
carried home by kind neighbours. It was plain that she had firod 
the distillery. Poor creature, she took sick, which soon terminated 
in a brain fever. For many days she lay at the point of death. Sad, 
weary days of watching were in that house. 

It was while Susie lay sick, out of her mind with fever, that 
another immortal was added to that family. It was well for the 
young mother that Mrs. Langsford was unconscious. When she first 
awoke to consciousness, it was to see Maud standing by her bed. 
She looked hard at her, and, as Maud casually drew back, she 
watched her every motion, until she left the room. When Maggie 
afterwards entered to give her medicine, 

Maggie," she said, " are there many strangers about the 
house ? " 

" No, Susie; very few have been in." 
" Maggie, don't tell them about Maud." 

" Trust to me, Susie, and keep your mind easy. I am glad yer' 
a wee better the day. Just be as quiet as possible, till ye get 
strengthened." The next day, and the next again it was the same. 

Maggie said she : " That woman was in again, and looked strange 
ML me and slipped out ; she never speaks." 

Who can it be ? What is she likCj Susie? Did ye ever see 
her before ?'' 

She is very, very pale and thin. Her hair is short, and sho 
wears a big black shawl over her shoulders. She 'minds m© of 
somebody I have seen before. But why did you let her come in 
here ? " 

"Susie, I have to be out hawking. What else would we livo 
on ? I couldna leave yo alane, and when that puir thing offered 



146 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



to mind je, I cudna say no. Sa, rest contented the day, an' the 
morn I'll see about it." 

" Oh I say, Maggie, that woman did not come to-day. Did you 
send her oif." 

" Na, na, Susie, she'll not come the day. She's lying ill on my 
bed, and I fear it's the fever she's ta'en. She's sa hot." 
" What is her name, eh, Maggie ?" 

" I didna' speer at her. But I ken she's some puir heartbroken 
body. Though I doubt na' she has herself to blame. What am I ta 
do wi' her, Susie?" 

" I don't know, Maggie. Oh ! I had such a strange dream about 
her last night. Maggie, do you believe in dreams ?" 

Whiles, Susie, whiles the Lord sends messages to folk when 
they are sleeping." 

" Wh}^, Maggie ! I always thought dreams turned out contrary 
like." 

"Na, na, Susie, I dinna think sa when the message is frae the 
Lord." 

"Tell me, Maggie, what's come over you? You did not appear 
so free and pious heretofore." 

" I dinna ken, Susie, unless it was the fear of losing you and the 
joy now at having you restored. Let me sort yer bed a bit." 

"Sit down, Maggie, till I tell you my dream. I dreamed I was 
listening to George whistling about the house, when all at once I 
became aware that some one was coming into the room. I was sure 
it must be that strange woman. So I thought I got up and shut the 
door in her face and turned the key. But when I attempted to cross 
to my bed thorns pricked my feet, and when I tried to scramble on 
to the bed there were thorns all over it, the pillows and all. Then 
I felt sorry that I had locked the door, for the woman could have 
picked them ofl'. I felt so weak and faint that I must lie down, thorns 
and all. I wakened up all trembling. Maggie, can you read my 
dream?" 

"I dinna ken, unless it be this: If ye hadna turned Maud 
away, she would have helped ye to bear your trials and troubles." 

"Oh, Maggie, she was, I fear, the cause of all my troubles. A 
sore, sore child she has been to me always." 

" Ay, but the Lord may change her heart, and make her a com- 
for to you yet, Susie." 

Poor Mrs. Langford gave an uneasy twist, as though she cared 
not to speak on that subject. 

" Why does my father not come to see me?" she at last asked. 

^' He canna come, Susie ; he is lying ill wi' the rhuematism." 

" Then, Maggie, where is Bessie ; can't she mind me ?" 

" Bessie is down minding your puir mother; she hears every- 
thing, but understands nothing, and it makes her so nervous." 

" Where is Abbie, then?" 

"Just about, sometimes here and sometimes there." 
Maggie feared to tell the truth, Abbie had run away to join the 
circus. 

They were both silent for a few minutes, during which each 



NOTHINa LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



14t 



seemed to divine the other's thoughts. Then Maggie, lowering her 
voice, said, " What for do ye no say where is Maud ?" 

Mrs. Langford turned pale, but whether it was to brave it out^ 
or, or did she really want to know what had become of her. In a 
husky voice she repeated : " Where is Maud ? Do you know ?" 

" Ay, Susie, I ken ; she is in the garret, lying on my bed, an' a 
wee bonnie innocent aside her." 

Poor Mrs. Langford; this was almost too much, but it had to be 
told some time. 

" Oh, Maggie," she said, "is that possible ? How did you dare 
to bring her here, and when did you do it ?" 

Forgive me, Susie, if I ha din wrong. It was the nicht before 
George was drowned: the very nicht ye sent her away. I was 
coming home frae the country, I came on her about twa miles frae 
here, sitting on a log by the roadside. It was threatenin' to be an 
unco storm of wind and rain. I cudna come away and leave her 
exposed to the weather, an' it wud sune be dark as mirk ; I cudna 
take shelter under her mother's roof, an' leave her lyin' by the road- 
side. Na, na ! if she hadna come back wi' me, I'd ha' biden wi' 
her." 

" I understand all now, Maggie ; and so that was Maud that 
used to come and wait on me when you were out ? I used to feel so 
uneasy while she was in. Oh, dear, what are we coming to ?" 

" Ay, Susie, the plump, rosy cheeks are gone ; an' her lips are 
thin an' white ; her bonnie lang hair had to be ta'en off, it got so 
tauted it culdna be kempt. The shawl she had on she got frae Mrs. 
Barton. No wonder ye didna ken her. Susie, wud ye no like to 
see the wee innocent ?" 

"No," she replied, " I don't care to." 

"Noo, lassie, t ha' telt your mother a' about ye. Maud, let me 
show her the wee thing. She is no sa mad wi' ye noo." 

"No, no. Aunt Maggie, don't, oh, don't; she will kill it, I know 
she will.'' 

" Yery weel ; keep it, lassie, but ye should no be so feared o' yer 
ain mother." 

Next day Mrs. Langford inquired how Maud was, for Maggie 
looked troubled. 

" She's a wee bit better the day; its no' the fever ava, — but 
the wee innocent is deeing." 

" Oh !" exclaimed Mrs. Langford, " I am so gla<]. What a relief 
it will be to the whole house." 

" Aye, Susie, but it's na relief to my conscience, nor Maud's 
oiLher. Na, na." 

"I don't know what you mean, Maggie, by letting the death of 
thac creature trouble you. You are a strange woman, to take such 
afanijy to Clili's child." 

" I don't." 

" But why do you think it is sick ? It is not crying." 
" I fear it is past crying, Susie; it is in convulsions." 
" Well, Maggie, why do you take blame to yourself?" 



148 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



''I'll tell you how. Ye see it was the first time I went to the 
city for my goods. I fell in wi' a woman I kent, an' she took me to 
see the nunaery. We went frae ea' place till anither. One place 
was for old, helpless men an' women, an' anither for orphans. We 
asked to see the foundlin's, an' thej showed us twa lying in cribs. 
They looked like twins, but our guide said ain was three days old, 
and the other twa. At least that was their age when brought there. 
The coverlets were tucked all round so smooth. Not a crease nor a 
spot ; an' a wax doll could not have lain stiller. I passed them 
again an' again, an' still they slept. I asked the lassie how it was 
that they slept so good. She said the nuns gave them syrup to 
mako them sleep. They only took them up at the regular time, 
washed, dressed and fed them — then put them back to sleep again. 
The woman that took me there tokl me afterwards that she believed 
they drugged them. For she had been there ever so often, and 
never saw an infant awake. Sa ! I telt this to Maud ea' day to pit 
her against gaing there. But she begged me to get her a little bottle 
o' laudanum or paregoric, so she could keep the wee thing quiet 
when I would be out. Sa yesterday, when she was sa ill, she could 
na mind it, she gie'd it an extra drap, sa it wadna' disturb you, and 
i'ts never wakened upricht." 

Header, it may be Maud is not the only one that has drugged 
their illegitimate offspring to keej) them from disturbing others. 

The little one died, and a few weeks after Maud returned to her 
grandmother's to whom she was greatly attached. 

Little Bessie come to her mother. 

Abbie chose a wandering life, from one circus company to 
another. 



CHAPTEll XXXIV. 

AT COSIE COTT. 

" Good day, Mrs. Barton. I called t o see how the sick 
child is." 

" Thank you, Mrs. Walsh ; Totlie is much the same. I fear we 
will not have her long. She is asleep just now; Mrs. Lunt is 
attending hei". Is that one of your boys out there ?" 
Yes, ma'am ; he is waiting for me." 

"He had better come in, Mrs. Walsh; it is just commencing to 
rain heavily." 

" Oh, never mind ; I will soon be going. He is so shy, I don't 
think of taking him into any place . " 

" But are your boys not going to school ?" 

" One is, ma'am, and learning well, but this one is not smart, 
nor good looking either." 

Just then Mrs. Barton called him to come in. 

" Why !" she said, " you are getting to be a great boy ; you 
must go to school and learn." 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



149 



" I don't think I will send him, ma'am ; there is something 
wrong with him. Besides being so clownish and homely, he is weak- 
minded." 

" Mrs. Barton saw the poor boy's lips quiver, so, with great 
presence of mind, she took a hamper and gave it to the boy, saying, 
as she did so, " I will see about that. Will you fill this with chips 
for me before they get too wet ?" Quickly he ran for them. Then 
turning round, she laid her hand on Mrs. Walsh's shoulder, saying, 
" I am surprised at you. Oh, how could you make that heartless 
remark before your child ? Why, if he were not weak-minded, it is 
enough to make him so. Depend upon it, those words will eat like 
a canker in his memory while he lives; and, as for coarse visage, 
can he help that ? You ought to have care and sympathy for him. 
Depend upon it, my good woman, education, with a careful training, 
helps to improve even the countenance. By your keeping him in 
the background, as you are doing, you just foster shyness, until, 
by -and- bye, it will grow to insanity. Never show partiality to your 
boys. Give them an equal chance, for, how do you know but your 
good-looking, clever boy may turn out a scape-grace, and this weak- 
minded one may be chosen of God." 

" Oh! Mrs. Barton, I never thought that I was doing wrong." 

"Then," replied the other, " it is time you thought and acted 

too.'* 

Just then the door was opened gently, and the boy emfcered 
with a basket of chips, and shyly set them down. 

Mrs. Barton patted him on the head, saying, " What a fine lot 
you gathered. You are a clever lad, and I see no weakness about 
you. Would you like to go to school ?" 

" Yes'm," he said, in a whisper. " Then, Mrs. Walsh, you must 
send him. He will soon show you what a boy can do." 

And so, Mrs. Lunt. you think it is the same young man, this 
Cliff, and that he and his father have taken ship for Europe?" 

Why, yes, Mrs. Burney ; you see my husband, Ben, works 
about the station some, and he saw and heard the old gentleman 
telling that a troublesome law suit required their presence at home. 
He had wound up this business, or left it to others to do, I don't 
mind. I hope they will stay there, for they are a bad set." 

What is the matter with the little girl ? She seems very ill." 

" Yes, ma'am, it is Mr. Barton's motherless child. She has been 
sick some time. First it was worm fever, but now it is inflamma- 
tion of the membrane of the lungs." 

Mrs. Lunt, I have some hej-bs at home might give her some 
relief. If not, it would do no harm to try." 

"Oh, I would feel so much obliged to you." 

Soon, nurse Burney, went and returned, bringing Gussie with 
her. The herbs were tried without efi'ect. The poor sufi'erer was 
sinking fast. It's constant cry was, " Walk with Tottie. Sing ful 
Tottie." Out of one arm into another, it was all the same ; " Walk 
ful Tottie. vSing ful Tottie." It was no easy matter, when the 
heart was full, to walk and sing too. 



10 



150 



NOTMNO LIKIS BLACK ON WttlTS. 



" Gussie, child," said Burney, you just sing a few minutes be- 
fore we leave." 

Grussie did sing; but when she stopped, the weak voice said : 
"Sing more, petty ; sing full, Tottie." 

" Ah I Miss G-ussie," said Grandma Barton, " if you could only 
stay with us to-night, and sing now and then, your voice seems to 
calm her so. It would be such a relief to us." 

" Gussie has never been used to sitting up at night," said Bur- 
ney, " and I fear it would make her sick. What do you think, 
Gussie ? " 

" I would like to stay ; and I will come home early in the morn- 
ing. It will not hurt me." 

" You will not have to walk in the morning, Mibs Gussie," said 
William. " Some one will drive you home." 

Burney went away, after telling Gussie : 

"If I leave in the morning before you get home, just lie down 
and rest, child, till I come in." 

Dear little Tottie. It was affecting to hear her weak voice repeat 
the one thing, over and over: Walk ful Tottie ; sing ful Tottie." 
Near night she changed a little. Drink of watty ful, Tottie." She 
took a taste, then pushed it away. " No more drink a watty ful, Tot- 
tie ; sing ful Tottie." At one time she dozed a little, and all tried to 
have her sleep. No sound was heard but that of Gussie singing the 
child's evening hymn: " Jesus, gentle Shepherd,hear me." All at once 
she looked up, and in a pleased tone, said : " Ea, ma, ma 1 " 

"Poor child," William said ; I thought she forgot ever she had 
a ma. How pleased she looks. Does my darling see her ma? " 

" How do we know," said Mr. James Barton, " but these sinless 
ones are permitted to see such glad sights as they cross the Jordan." 

" Walk fas' ; walk fas', ful Tottie ; hully, huUy ; tas' ; sing no 
more ; walk ful, Tottie. Sing, petty, sing." 

They all sat down with her. Soon the little face began to 
assume the hue of death. After lying still a few minutes, she looked 
up bright and amazed-like, and in a clear, though weak voice, called: 
Papa, papa." She even tried to raise herself up, as a child would 
lean towards the approaching father. " Papa, oh ! papa." Soon all 
was over. 

" Over Jordan at last. Of such are the kingdom of heaven," 
said the minister. 

" Yes," replied William ; " I will have one babe in heaven,waiting 
there with her mamma for me." 

The little children had all stood round and saw their sister die. 
Now, it was washed and dressed in its white gowney, and laid in its 
crib bed. After worship they all came and kissed Tottie good-night 
and went to bed. 

" I thank God for the gift of this child, and I thank Him for 
taking it back to Himself," said Mr. Barton, as he patted the cold 
cheek of Tottie. 

It was now near midnight. The family sat conversing a long 
time, giving each other the benefit of their thoughts, which Gussie's 
piemory kept for her poetic brain. It was the first death she had 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



151 



seen, and it impressed her very much. Early in the morning she 
wished to go home, so Ben Lunt took her home in the light cart. 
Burney had a sick call, which took her out very early. About teu 
she returned. Rover was keeping guard at the door. So, going in 
quietly, lest she should awaken Gussie, there was the poor girl sitting 
by the table. On it lay some odd sheets of paper, over which Gussie's 
arms were crossed, the pen still in her hand and she fast asleep. The 
old saying was true : " Look long at a sleeping child and it will 
wake." Burney, with clasped hands, looked and wondered, till G-ussie 
gave a sudden start and opened her eyes. Burney was not much of 
a scholar herself, and understood little of the art of composition. But 
just now she appeared vexed at the waste of paper, which Gussie was 
vainly trying to get out of sight. All at once she stopped, saying: 
" No ! no ! I will not ; I cannot do it." 

"Gussie, child ; what are you trying to do, eh ? What's wrong," 
said Burney. 

" Nothing," replied Gussie, " but I will never try to keep any- 
thing secret from you again. My more than mother, you may read 
my very heart." And with a trembling hand she pushed the sheets 
of foolscap towards her. 

" Gussie, child, you will have to road it for me, for I have for- 
gotten my spectacles." 

And Gussie did read thus : 

LITTLE TOTTIE. 



From a stupor, see her waken, 
Oh, our patient, suffering child ; 

Speak, dear Tottie, don't you know us ? 
All the answer is a smile. 

Each in turn, we passed before her. 
Each, in turn, pronounced our name; 

Looking round, and looking o'er us, 
We, from her, no notice claim. 

" Link a watty now, ful Tottie, 

Ea, mama, oh petty sing ; 
Walk ful Tottie, sing ful Tottie, 

HuUy, huUy, more petty sing." 

Did you wish to tell us, Tottie, 

Of the wondrous things you've seen ; 

Was the glory so abundant, 
That we could not pass between ? 

Did you see the Saviour, Tottie, 
Waiting for your spirit, near ; 

When you cried, " papa, papa," 
Was it him you meant to hear ? 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHtTE. 



When your earthly father answered, 
" Tottie, darling, I am here; " 

Did you see Christ Jesus standing, 
Waiting, smiling, beckoning there ? 

Was the music so entrancing, 
That you heax'd no other sound ; 

Papa ! papa ! then raised your head, 
And you calmly looked around. 

Sounded not like fear of dying, 
Sounded not like one in pain ; 

Sounded more like spirit crying, 
Spirit Father, take me in. 

Does our Tottie see the angels, 
Gathering round her in the room; 

Hears she, through soft rolling music, 
Jesus][calling : " Tottie, come." 

From a world of grief and care, 
Ere your soul is stained by sin ; 

Come, my lamb, come to me, 
I will take away your pain. 

Did you see Him, like your father, 
Stretch His arms of love to you ; 

Was it that, that made you call Him, 
Did you hear Him calling too. 

Blends the mortal with celestial. 
In that strange, mysterious way ; 

This transferring the affections. 
Up to Heaven by the way. 

While the child is crossing Jordan, 
While the shadows pass between; 

First on one and then the other. 
Does the child's affections gleam. 

Oh ! that mysterious thing called death, 
^^'one can tell, though all must know ; 

And a little child has faith, 
In a Blather's helping through. 

Softly there m^^ suffering on«, 
Lean thee back on Jesu's breast ; 

Israel's Shepherd, bending o'er thee, 
Soon will give His promised rest, 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



153 



Neai'ly over Jordan, Tottie, 

Sounds as from the other side ; 
Like a far off distant echo, 

Thy last faint whisper died. 

Looking round yet, Tottie tell us, 

What glad sight is it you see ; 
Could we now obtain your knowledge, — 

But on earth this cannot be. 

Now 'tis over, thanks we give Thee, 

For this dear release from pain ; 
For the child which Thou didst lend us, 

That child Thou hast re-called again. 

Thou didst say of little children, 

Suffer them to come to Me ; 
They who would Thy Kingdom enter, 

In some things must children be. 

" That is very nice. Where did you get it, child ?' ' 

" Get it ? Why, Burney, it is just the things they were talking 
about last night. I just thought it over this way, and then trans- 
mitted it on paper this morning." 
Who is it for, Gussie, child ?" 

" For no one, Burney, just for myself." 

" Oh, Gussie, was the child very ill before it died ?" 

" Yes ; only about an hour it did not feel or know any one, 
apparently." 

" Oh, they gave me a note for you," and Gussie handed it to 
Burney." 

"Why, child, it is for yourself." 

Gussie took and read it. " Oh, Burney, I never thought but it 
was for you. I put it into my pocket without looking at it." 

" Please accept this small sum, with my gratitude, for your 
service of song, which helped my pet as she crossed the cold river 
of death." 

Ten shillings, Burney,- may I do what I like with it?" 
" Certainly child, but what would you do with it ? That is not 
enough to raise a gable roof on this shanty." 

No, Burney, I like the shanty well enough now, but I want 
to keep myself in paper, pens and ink." 

But it is a great waste, and what is the good, Gussie ?" 
" I know it, Burney, but it is a great pleasure to me, and I have 
something to do when you are out." 

" Yery well, Gussie, child ; but, see, here is a bit you did not 
read." 

"Oh," said Gussie, "that is a poem about a fly." 
" A fly, why that is a small thing io waste paper on, but read it 
till I hear what could be said about a fly." 
Gussie reads : 



154 NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 

THE SNARE. 

Once T heard a buzzing nigh, 

Sounded like a silly fly ; 
Searching round me I did spy 

It in a spider's net. 

When the fly the centre shook, 

Spider saw it from its nook ; 
Then he gave a knowing look, 

And to action set. 

Now with him a rope he brought, 

T'was to mend the net it broke ; 
His presence gave the fly a shock. 

For well he knew his fate. 

Spider then walked round and round, 

Proved the fly was on his ground ; 
None to help fly could be found, 

Alas, it was too late. 

Poor little fly, one foot was free. 

But, alas, the spider he, 
Soon fastened it as fast could be. 

With his cruel rope. 

That spider's heart was surely stone, 

To think that he could look upon 
The fly's distress, and hear it moan, 

'Twas to the spider sport. 

A short way off he stood at ease. 

The fly's wings fluttering made a breeze ; 

And that the spider seemed to please, 
Though not a word he said. 

He stood awhile to whet his sting. 

Then at the fly he made a spring, 
And soon made fast that little wing, 

Then stung him dead. 

Now, gentle folk, we all may take. 

And out of this amoral make ; 
Nor need we good manners break : 

Beware of gin. 

"That is all very nice Gussie ; but really I would not care for a 
barn full of it. Yon will never make a penny by it, child. No, 
no, you must contrive something to make money by, for we will get 
no more from the old man, now, he is away ; at least, not likely," 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



155 



" I will try to get more sewing, Barney." 

"Yes, but, Gussie, child, since machines have got so common, 
there is little got for hand-sewing." 

" Then, Barney, what will I do at all ?" 

" Some people, have been speaking to me about your singing. 
They say you would be a great help in a church choir, or you might 
teach in'a singing school, but you must take some lessons first from 
a singing master," 

" But, Burney, where would I get money to pay for lessons? 
Would ten shillings ao ? Last night they were talking about a 
great many things. I wish I could hear it all again. One thing 
was : at what age does a child become accountable to God ? Ben 
Lunt said he thought it was at seven years. But the minister said 
all owing to the light of conscience. Some much older. As a proof, 
we often hear of children of that age dying happy. But never 
hear of any in despair so young. 

" Was that all they were talking about Gussie ?" 

" No the minister talked about death, too. He said death was 
for every one, and the grave was the house appointed for all. But 
hell, he said, was not prepared for man. It was prepared for the 
devil and his angels. But he said people that would not come to 
Heaven would be gathered up with the devil and his angels. There 
was no help for it. There was no middle state. Then he said he 
knew something that was really and truly prepared for man." 

" What was it, Gussie, child, did he say ?" 

" It was the Kingdom of Heaven, Barney, and it is not pre- 
pared for angels, but for man. Is it not wonderful how these good 
ministers know so much ?" 

"Yes, child, they learn it the way you do your verse 
making."' 

" Oh ! Burney don't talk so, please." 

While Burney dozed on her chair, Gussie rose and went to the 
door. 

"Oh! dear," she said, to herself, "how can I ever sing in 
public ?" 

Rover, thinking he was the party addressed, came towards her, 
wagging his tail. 

" Lie down you dog, don't bother me, I am in the blues to-day, 
and 80 is Burney. Oh ! dear, but it is hard to get money," she said, 
sadly. " Silver is a very useful thing, a precious thing, indeed. 
But to obtain that precious thing is just some Brass I need." 



CHAPTEE XXXV. 

Mrs. Barton had not been keeping house for William more than 
a year, when Jier health began to fail. William could not shut his 
eyes to the fact that his house and large family were a charge too 
heavy for her. He would not trust his precious ones to hired house- 
kodpers. So he found a helper for himself, and a step-mother for 



156 



NOTHINa LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



his children in the person of Mrs. Langford. Some said surely, 
surely she was a very unfit person for such a family." But. indeed, 
she proved a better step-mother than she had been a mother, and 
neither of them had cause to regret the step. Bessie, of course, 
came into the family with her mother. Previous to William's 
marriage, his brother James received a call to a dia Lance, and as 
his wife's relatives were there, he accepted the call, and the time 
was near for bis departure. 

" Harriet," he said one day, " I wish you could come with us to 
our new home. Say, will you come ?" 

" Oh ! James, I could never stand the travelling, and I do not 
like to go so far from mother, now when she is so poor)y. I will just 
go home to her. Then we are so near William. They will be com- 
pany for us," and so Aunt Hatt moved down to the house of her 
childhood. Previous to this, the Lunts had moved into their new 
house, leaving old Mrs. Barton in possession of Cosie Cott. No sooner 
were they settled than the old lady bethought her of Maggie. 
And as they sat at the breakfast table, the following conversation 
took place. 

"Harriet, 1 am going this very day to see if I can't get Scotch 
Maggie to come and live with us. What do you think ?" 

" All right, mother, the room is empty ; but, perhaps, she has 
got a place already, for I heard the boys say there were great 
changes going on in the old house, and, of course, she could not stay 
after Mrs. Langford left. Then, I don't suppose there was even bed 
or chair left that was not sold." 

" Yes, Harriet, Maggie carried out her own feather bed and 
some other things, not much of course. I dare say the law would 
have allowed them that much at any rate. Poor Susie, what else 
can we call her now. She would not take a thing from the house, 
but the clothes on her back. She said it was all too little to pay the 
debt." 

"That spoke well for her, mother. But, oh! dear, how they 
looked down upon us once, when they could drive a beautiful buggy 
and we ride in a hay cart, or walk." 

" Harriot, we must not remember this against them. It is God 
who putteth down one and raiseth up another. The earth is the 
Lord's, and the fulness thereof beloBgeth to Him. And what have 
we that we have not received from Him. We should despair of 
none changing for the better, and we must acknowledi^e the improve- 
ment in Mrs. Langford, (Susie) has been sure, though slow. And we 
must not expect perfection all at once." 

*^ Mother, there seems to be quite a change in White's family 
too." 

"Yes, Harriet. Since Maud went down there the old man is 
not so passionate as he was. His poor wife is decidedly better than 
they ever dared to hope. And, just think, he has turned his bar- 
room into a grocery. We must all patronize him after this, so he 
may feel encouraged to go on from better to better.'' 

" Good day, Maggie, I am glad to meet you. I was just on my 
way to see you, Have yon got a room yet, or where are you stop- 
ping." 



NOTHING LIKE BLACK ON WHITE. 



151 



" I ciinnii t<i\y that 1 am stopping any place, but just whore I 
happen to bo at nicht. 1 am going up to seek for a room in the 
vilhigo up by."' 

"Maggie, sit here on this log, 1 have something to tell you and 
something to show you. Can't you guess ?" 
^- JSTa, Vm na' hand at guessing." 

*' Jt is a sort of relic, Maggie, I found when turning over some 
things I had left in my house when Lunts came." Then putting her 
hand into her pocket she pulled out something and hold it U]) before 
Maggie, saying, " Did you ever see this before ?" 

Eh I'na," said Maggie, "that was never tinished, just go it ta 
mo. I'll rip it ])ast the brunt place and knit it over again." 

" Maggie, that is just what I was going to ask, and in this 
Harriet joins me. , Come live with us, and finish the stocking where 
you commenced it. There is a room w^aiting for you." 

Poor Maggie looked bewildered. "Eh ! na, I cudna' da that." 

" I'es, Maggie, do come. You can go on with your business the 
same as ever. Come, you can just furnish the room for yourself." 

" Very well," said Maggie, "I'll accept of your otFer, but ye 
mun tak pay for it, ye canna live on the wind na mair than masel." 

" Maggie Langford, only for your timely warning I would have 
no claim on Cosie Cott. Because I certainly meant to give it all up 
to my sons, and live and die with them. It is not likely I would 
suiter w^ant. But, still here is Harriet. What would she have done ? 
James away and William married again. Thanks to you, Maggie, 
we have a fireside of our own.'' 

" Tut ! tut!" said Maggie, " dinna say that. What have ye no 
a' din for me ? What for am I no scrubbing here and washing 
there ?" 

" Well, Maggie, to settle it you pay me a dollar a month, and 
failing to pay will make no difference." 

So Maggie walked home with her good friend, where they found 
Ben Lunt talking in a very cheery mode to Aunt Hatt. 

" What about the petition/' enquired Mrs. Barton, sitting down. 

" The petition," he replied. " Oh ! you signed it, did you not 

" Yes, Ben Lunt, I signed it, and proud I was to see Mr. White's 
name at the very head of the list. I hope it won't all go for 
nothing." 

" Did you present it to the new purchaser yet?" 

" Yes I did, and informed him that I came as the representative 
of the village and settlers around, holding in my hand a petition, 
signed by nearly every man, woman and child, requesting that he 
would not rebuild the distillery. I also told him of accidents by 
drowning in the pond. He just gave a laugh, saying he would put 
a fence all around the pond, 'That,' said I, ' is all right; but, sir, 
you can't fence in the spirit of whiskey.' He gave another cunning 
laugh, and asked to see my petition ; so I spread it out on the table 
before him. ' 1 suppose,' said ho, 'you sot great value on this ; but 
J can siiow you a sheet that I value just as much as you do that, for 
you must allow that T have a right to build what I like on my own 
land.' Saying this, ho opened out a stiff sheet of paper beside mine, 



158 



NOTHING LIKE BLICK ON WHITE. 



' There,' said he, ' the people have had something to drink, now 
they shall have something to oat. If you had called to see me first, 
Mr. Liint, you would have saved yourselt' all the trouble." 

" Why, Ben," said the old lady, " what was it all ?" 

" A plan for an oatmeal and grist mill. I said it was reported 
all over that the distillery would be rebuilt. ' Ah,' he replied, 
laughing, ' old Madam Eeport is a great humbug.' " 

And so all is well that ends well.